Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus attending rheumatology clinic in Kenyatta National Hospital
Odhiambo, Jackline l A
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BACKGROUND Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects all organs of the body. It is becoming increasingly clear that SLE is not as rare in Kenya as was previously thought. Due to its chronicity SLE has been known to affect the quality of life of those affected by it. There is minimal data on SLE in East Africa and especially in Kenya. The quality of life of SLE patients in this country has never been assessed. OBJECTIVES The main objective was to document the quality of life of patients with SLE in Kenyatta National Hospital using LUPUS QOL. The secondary objectives were to correlate health related quality of life with duration of illness, drugs used and age of the patient. STUDY DESIGN This was a cross section study STUDY POPULATION Patients attending Rheumatology clinic in Kenyatta National Hospital. METHODS Patients who satisfy the ACR criteria were consecutively recruited. Consent was obtained and their demographic data retrieved from their files. Patients were examined for the presence of malar rash, discoid rash, arthritis/athralgia, photosensitivity, CNS symptoms, serositis and oral ulcers. The patients then filled the LUPUS QOL questionnaire. The information acquired was then analysed using SPSS version 17.0. The quality of life was calculated and then correlated with age, duration of illness and drug management. RESULTS Sixty two patients were studied (60 females, 2 males) with a mean age of 37.3years (range 14-71 yrs). Mean age at diagnosis was 34.5 years with mean duration of illness was 1.5 years. Patients scored globally low in all domains of the LUPUS QOL questionnaire. Highest domain was Planning 63.7 (29.3), Emotional Health 61.3 (26.5), Burden to Others 58.9 (31.2), Fatigue57.5 (30.0), Pain 56.6 (29.6), Physical Health 54.0 (23.3), Body Image 47.1 (24.2) Intimate Relations 41.1 (38.4). HRQOL correlated positively with advance in age for the domains Physical health, Burden to others, Emotional health and Fatigue.There was no correlation between HRQOL and duration of illness or drugs used by the population. CONCLUSION Patients with SLE were found to have a poor quality of life. The health related quality of life was found to correlate with advance in age in the domains of Physical health, Burden to others, Emotional health and Fatigue. However there was no correlation between health related quality of life with duration of illness or the medications used by the patients.