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Coping with systemic lupus erythematosus in patients' words

  • Autori: Cornet A.; Mazzoni D.; Edwards A.; Monzani D.; Pravettoni G.; Andersen J.; Mosca M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: psychology; qualitative research; quality of life
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Objective Previous research on coping strategies of patients with SLE showed that there are no absolute adaptive or maladaptive strategies and that the range of potential coping strategies is large and heterogeneous. In this paper, we aimed to identify, in a large sample of patients with SLE (N=3222), the most frequent words used by patients to describe their coping strategies, to group them into significant themes and to test their possible association with specific patient characteristics. Methods Our analyses were based on the data set of the European survey 'Living with Lupus in 2020' (N=3222). Through the T-LAB software, we analysed the answers that adult participants gave to an open-ended question about how they cope with the disease. We identified the most frequent words, and with hierarchical cluster analysis we grouped them into semantic clusters (ie, themes) that were characterised by specific patterns of words. Finally, we tested the possible association between clusters and illustrative variables (sociodemographics, disease characteristics, quality of life). Results Five coping strategies were identified, each of them constituting an important percentage of the total word occurrences: positive attitude (22.58%), social support (25.46%), medical treatments (10.77%), healthy habits (20.74%) and avoid stress (20.45%). Each strategy was statistically associated with specific patient characteristics, such as age and organ involvement. Conclusions Learning to adapt to a lifetime of having SLE may require replacing old coping strategies with more effective ones. Investigating patients' coping strategies in relation to different patient characteristics represents a useful starting point for developing more targeted and efficacious interventions.