More Complex Lupus Cases are Associated with Significant Social and Economic Needs
New research finds that people with lupus who present with medically or psychosocially complex cases often struggle with poor social determinants of health (SDoH). SDoH are conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that contribute to health inequities and rising health care costs. These conditions include access to food and housing, job stability, financial issues, access to medical care and more. In this study, transportation challenges, difficulty accessing medication or mental health care, and financial insecurity were the most common SDoH issues reported.
Researchers assessed 69 people with lupus enrolled in hospitals’ integrated care management programs. These integrated primary-care programs are designed to support people with complex health issues by creating and coordinating a personal care plan for people identified as being at higher health risk. Although SDoH‐related issues were not used to identify people for the program, over half (57%) of the program participants had SDoH challenges in the year prior to enrollment, and nearly all (94%) reported at least one SDoH need during enrollment:
- Difficulty accessing medication: 66%
- Transportation challenges: 61%
- Insurance challenges: 50%
- Poor access to mental health care: 48%
- Financial issues: 48%
- Housing concerns: 46%
- Food insecurity: 32%
The study underscores the need to address SDoH issues and provide more comprehensive support in order to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes among people with lupus. Lupus can impact every aspect of life. The Lupus Foundation of America is committed to funding work to improve access to care, including through its Addressing Lupus Pillars for Health Advancement (ALPHA) Project.