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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 13, Issue 2-4, Pages 321-324

Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

1University of California, UCSF Box 0920, San Francisco 94143-0920, CA, USA
2Divisions of Clinical Immunology/Allergy and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre (Montreal General Hospital), 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal H3G-1A4, Que., Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a pervasive disease with wide-ranging effects on physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, a comprehensive assessment of SLE should include several different outcomes, such as quality of life (QoL) and economic costs, in addition to measures of disease activity and damage. In fact, disease effects on QoL are often considered of greater overall importance to patients. Two approaches have been used in the measurement of QoL: generic questionnaires and disease-specific questionnaires. Generic questionnaires are designed to be used across various conditions and populations, whereas disease-specific questionnaires are designed to measure outcomes in one specific disease or condition. The most commonly used measure of QoL is the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36), which is a generic measure that is applicable in a variety of conditions, including SLE. Recently, SLE-specific measures have been developed that may prove to be more responsive than generic measures. The hope is that improved outcome measures will allow for better assessment of SLE and eventually facilitate drug development and improve patient care.