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Uncertainty and Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Cross-sectional Study

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Delis PC1. Rehabil Nurs. 2019 Jan/Feb;44(1):2-10. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000118.


Author information 1 School of Nursing, Salem State University, Salem, MA, USA.


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore relationships among health status, uncertainty, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adults with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

DESIGN: The study was a Web-based quantitative study using a predictive correlational design, with nonprobability, convenience sampling.

SAMPLE: Adults (n = 196) with SLE living in 31 U.S. states and Puerto Rico participated in the study.

METHODS: Online data were collected from three regional and one national lupus organization. A correlational design determined relationships among uncertainty, health status, and HRQOL. Regression analysis was completed to identify variations in HRQOL. Demographics were described.

RESULTS: As predicted, inverse relationships occurred between HRQOL and uncertainty, and between mental health and uncertainty. Mental health correlated positively with HRQOL. Physical health correlated with lower HRQOL and higher uncertainty level. Health status plus uncertainty predicted variation in HRQOL.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings support use of Mishel's Uncertainty in Illness Theory for exploring factors related to HRQOL in adults with SLE and for designing theory-based interventions such as support groups and coping strategies.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Decreasing uncertainty through education, social support, improvement in health status, and health literacy can positively impact HRQOL in adults with SLE.