Teaching the Lupus Patient
The Patient Information Sheets provide a wealth of information, and are written in language that most patients will find easy to understand.
should hand them out to patients as
appropriate during their discussions
on specific issues related to lupus. The
sheets can be printed directly from this
guide, or they can be downloaded from
the Web site of the National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases (NIAMS): www.niams.nih.gov.
The following points may help health professionals use them effectively.
Use the Sheets to Complement Existing Teaching Efforts
Over time, the doctor and other
members of the health care team will
probably discuss with a patient much
of the information contained in these
sheets. However, some patients may not
absorb all the information given to them
verbally. The Patient Information Sheets can be a useful backup.
As the health
professional talks through an issue, he
or she may want to refer to or highlight
specific sections of a sheet. This will
help to reinforce the information and
show the patient where to find it later.
Use the Sheets Selectively
The Patient Information Sheets cover
a wide range of issues. Not all of them
will be appropriate for each patient.
For example, the sheet on Serious
Conditions Associated With Lupus
would not be appropriate for a patient
with mild lupus. On the other hand,
the sheets on Skin Care and Lupus
and on Preventing Fatigue Due to
Lupus may be particularly useful for
One approach is to give
the patient several of the more general
Patient Information Sheets initially, then
see which others are relevant as time
When patients are first given
a prescription for a lupus medication,
they should also receive the Patient
Information Sheet on that medication.
Use the Sheets in Tandem
The information contained in a number
of the Patient Information Sheets is
complementary, and it may be helpful to
give the patient several sheets together.
For example, the sheets on Exercise
and Lupus and Joint Function and
Lupus would work well together, as
would the sheets on Fever and Lupus
and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drugs or Corticosteroids.
the sheets that contain more general
information, such as Living With Lupus
or Preventing a Lupus Flare, would be a
good complement to many of the sheets
dealing with more specific topics.
Source: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Dept of Health and Human Services