• Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Psychosocial;
  • Mental health;
  • Health status


Objective. To delineate psychosocial and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-related medical factors that contribute to the mental and physical health of SLE patients.

Methods. In a cross-sectional study, 44 women completed standardized instruments assessing daily hassles, social support, psychologic distress, and quality of life and underwent a physician examination to assess disease activity and disease damage. Four multiple linear regression analyses were computed to identify factors associated with the following outcomes: patient-perceived psychologic distress and global physical health and physician-assessed disease activity and damage. Variables entered into the regression analyses were: hassles severity, types of social support, SLE disease activity and damage, age, disease duration, education, ethnicity, and global psychologic distress (for the outcomes of self-perceived global physical health and disease activity and damage).

Results. The best model explaining global psychologic distress included hassles severity and self-esteem social support. The best model explaining patients' perceptions of their global physical health included hassles severity and tangible social support. Psychologic distress accounted for a significant proportion of variance in both disease activity and damage.

Conclusion. High stress (assessed by hassles severity), poor social support, and psychologic distress—potentially modifiable variables—are associated with the mental and physical health of SLE patients.