Effective Self-Management Interventions for Patients With Lupus: Potential Impact of Peer Mentoring

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Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with significant mortality, morbidity and cost for the individual patient and society. In the United States, African Americans (AAs) have 3-4 times greater prevalence of lupus, risk of developing lupus at an earlier age and lupus-related disease activity, organ damage and mortality compared with whites. Evidence-based self-management interventions that incorporate both social support and health education have reduced pain, improved function and delayed disability among patients with lupus. However, AAs and women are still disproportionately affected by lupus. This article presents the argument that peer mentoring may be an especially effective intervention approach for AA women with SLE. SLE peers with a track record of success in lupus management and have a personal perspective that clinicians often lack. This commonality and credibility can establish trust, increase communication and, in turn, decrease disparities in healthcare outcomes.

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