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SOURCE: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Department of Health and Human Services: Link to NIH

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Teaching the Lupus Patient

Patient Information Sheet

The Patient Information Sheets provide a wealth of information, and are written in language that most patients will find easy to understand.

Health professionals 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):

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 that patient.

One approach is to give the patient several of the more general Patient Information Sheets initially, then see which others are relevant as time goes on.

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.

Several of 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

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