Unraveling the Mystery of Lupus: New Patient Education Series

April 2, 2008

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an unpredictable multisystem disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans and at least 5 million persons worldwide, according to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA).

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an unpredictable multisystem disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans and at least 5 million persons worldwide, according to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). To help patients with SLE better understand the disease, the LFA has released new patient education publications for its ongoing series.

Five new booklets with corresponding fact sheets provide patients with the latest information about lupus diagnosis and management and an overview of all aspects of living and coping with the disease:

• Understanding Lupus (causes, forms, symptoms, physicians, and risks).
• Diagnosing Lupus (the immune system, common symptoms, and laboratory tests).
• Treating Lupus (treatment plan goals, medications, investigational treatments, and complementary and alternative therapies).
• Living With Lupus (the physical manifestations).
• Coping With Lupus (the emotional and personal aspects).

In addition, several fact sheets discuss specific areas of organ involvement. They include the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, nervous, and GI systems, as well as the skin (Figure).

Developed in consultation with leading experts in SLE and persons who are affected by the disease, the LFA publications feature easy-to-read language within a simple layout. They are appropriate for physicians' offices, hospitals and clinics, health fairs, schools, and education programs.

The LFA has produced another series, Quick Guides, which provides information about the impact of lupus on specific population groups-African Americans, Asians, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos-who are at heightened risk for the disease. Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese versions and additional titles are expected to be available later in 2008.