Living with systemic lupus erythematosus in the developing world
Most of our understanding of SLE and its negative impact originates from developed countries. This review aims to collate existing literature on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in SLE patients living in developing countries to identify the gaps for the focus of future research. A narrative literature review was compiled using selected MeSH terms to search EBSCOHOST for articles published between January 1975 and February 2018 pertaining to HRQoL in SLE patients in developing countries. 31 studies from 11 countries were included for analysis. Only one longitudinal, one randomized controlled trial (RCT), one qualitative study, and two intervention studies were found. High disease activity and organ damage were associated with poor functional ability, mental health and low socio-economic status (SES). Poor SES is a recurring theme in developing countries, and worsens all SLE outcomes by reducing access to healthcare, mental, social and emotional support systems. In developing countries, SLE has a globally negative impact on patients’ HRQoL, similar to that seen in developed countries. There is an urgent need for more HRQoL studies, and in particular, longitudinal, qualitative and interventional studies in these countries to investigate unmet needs, and to explore novel strategies to improve patient outcomes.
KeywordsSystemic lupus erythematosus Health-Related Quality of Life Developing world
The authors acknowledge financial support from the South African National Research Fund.
AP, MS, MT and BH were involved in the conceptualization, planning and execution of this review. All authors contributed to data synthesis and interpretation, simultaneous draft review and the final version of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Angel Phuti (AP), Marguerite Schneider (MS) and Mohammed Tikly (MT) received no research grants and each declare no conflict of interest. This study was funded by the National Research Fund (NRF); South Africa—Thuthuka Grant no: 443812. Bridget Hodkinson (BH) received this research grant and declares that she has no conflict of interest.
This narrative review includes research studies that enrolled human subjects who had individually given an informed consent.
Research involving human participants
All procedures performed in the studies (included in this review) involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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