Systemic lupus erythematosus: nurse and patient education
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Systemic lupus erythematosus: nurse and patient education

Ada Ferenkeh-Koroma Senior clinical research nurse, Department of Rheumatology, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy cells, tissue and organs, including the skin, kidney, heart, lungs, brain, joints and blood vessels. Symptoms of lupus vary between patients. The most common symptoms include unexplained fever, skin rash, swollen or painful joints, fatigue and kidney problems. Lupus can be treated effectively, but there is presently no cure for the condition. People with lupus may experience periods of exacerbation of symptoms, which are termed ‘flares’, as well as periods of remission. Nurses need to have a good understanding of the disease to provide patients with appropriate support and advice about how to maintain wellbeing and lead active lives.

Nursing Standard. 26, 39, 49-57. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review