Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with multiple comorbid conditions and non-disease-specific manifestations, with SLE patients perceiving substantial impairments in physical and cognitive function. Such effects are generally considered to be geriatric syndromes. Independence-limiting restrictions may serve as important patient-centered outcomes and are being used in geriatrics and medical subspecialties, such as oncology, to support self-management and assess treatments.
In their latest research, Laura Plantinga, PhD, of the Divisions of Renal Medicine and General Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory University, and colleagues used multidomain functional assessment to estimate the prevalence of physical and cognitive impairment in SLE patients. The results of the pilot study (Approaches to Positive, Patient-centered Experiences of Aging in Lupus [APPEAL]) were published in October 2018 Arthritis Care & Research.
For the study, researchers recruited 60 adult SLE participants from the Georgians Organized Against Lupus (GOAL) cohort. During in-person visits from October 2016 to April 2017, they evaluated physical and cognitive performance. Patients also provided self-reported measures for physical functioning, activities of daily living, falls and life-space mobility.