Health Care Implications
The psychosocial issues involved in
defining, diagnosing, and treating
lupus have implications for the way
the nurse or other health professional
works with a patient who has lupus.
For example, a person who is newly
diagnosed with lupus needs help in
getting current, accurate information
about the disease and in defining
realistic expectations and goals.
Patient Information Sheets in Chapter
7 can help.
The health professional
can clarify information with the
patient's doctor, make rounds with the
doctor, and act as a liaison between
the patient and the doctor, if needed.
Frequently, many doctors are involved
in caring for a patient with lupus at one
This may increase the patient's
confusion and leave gaps in information.
Emotional support for the patient is
Being available for questions,
providing reassurance, and encouraging
discussion of fears and anxieties are all
crucial roles that the nurse can play.
The person with lupus who is
hospitalized during a flare requires
symptomatic nursing care. It is
important to note that objective data,
such as anemia or sedimentation rate,
may not support subjective complaints
of fatigue or pain.
toe assessment and documentation
of all symptoms and complaints are
constantly, so frequent reassessment
Reevaluations validate a
patient's concerns and alert the doctor
to changes that may be transient yet
The patient's tolerance for physical
activity and need to control what she
or he can do should be respected. The
patient should be involved in developing
a care plan and daily schedule of
The best way to treat lupus is to
listen to the patient, whether she or
he was diagnosed today or years ago.
The patient's support systems can be
expanded to include pamphlets and
books, physical or occupational therapy,
vocational rehabilitation, homemaker
services, the Visiting Nurses Association
(VNA), the Lupus Foundation of
America (LFA), the SLE Foundation, and
the Arthritis Foundation (AF).
Lupus is a challenge to everyone
concerned. The health professional has
a key role in its management.
documentation, supportive care,
emotional support, patient education,
and access to community resources
will provide the patient and her or his
family with the tools they need to cope
Source: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Dept of Health and Human Services