Quality of Life Research

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 411-416

First online:

Quality of life of women with systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis: Domains of importance and dissatisfaction

  • Birgitha ArchenholtzAffiliated withDepartment of Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • , Carol S. BurckhardtAffiliated withOregon Health Sciences University
  • , Kerstin SegestenAffiliated with

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The aim of this study was to increase understanding of the domains of life that are important to Swedish women with chronic rheumatic disease and to describe their dissatisfaction with these domains. Fifty women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and 50 with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) were interviewed by telephone regarding their quality of life using five open-ended questions. Content analysis of their responses revealed nine categories: Health/wellness, Family/friends, Work, House/home/living environment, Social support/functional services, Hobbies/cultural activities, Sufficient income, Independence, Integrity/identity. Areas of importance correspond closely to those areas with which they were most dissatisfied. Although the domains identified in both groups were the same, SLE patients expressed more dissatisfaction with their perceived control over their bodies and understanding about their condition on the part of physicians and people in general. RA patients were more dissatisfied with areas of their lives that threatened their independence. Health care providers should be aware of these areas of dissatisfaction so that they can plan strategies to maximize patient quality of life.

Independence Quality of life Rheumatoid arthritis Sense of control Systemic lupus erythematosus