Does Better Clinical Care Promote Higher Quality of Life for Those with Lupus?
According to a recent study, high-quality lupus care is linked to some improvements in quality of life. Quality of life (QOL) is a term that broadly refers to the condition of one’s day-to-day life, including their functioning, fulfillment of goals, interpersonal interactions, and emotional and mental health. Meanwhile, quality of care (QOC) encompasses multiple measures of clinical care, including appropriate diagnostic testing, regular disease and medication monitoring, timely treatment of serious disease complications, and preventive care.
Researchers collected both health-related and non-health-related QOL data from 94 people with lupus and looked at how QOC was related to different QOL outcomes. They found that just over half of the study participants (52%) received high QOC and that high QOC was linked to better non-health related QOL.
Higher non-health related QOL is defined as having strong coping skills, social support, fulfilled goals and desires, and a high satisfaction with one’s clinical care. Not surprisingly, those with high QOC were especially more likely to report high treatment satisfaction. People in the high QOC group were also more likely to have health care providers who offered preventive health counseling, like education on sun avoidance, osteoporosis screenings, and heart health risk factors.
However, higher QOC was not associated with improved health related QOL. Health-related QOL is defined by measures like rates of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and physical and emotional health. In this study, QOC was largely defined by preventive care counseling, which would not have a direct impact on one’s current health or lupus disease activity.
Previous research has shown a connection between QOC and health related QOL, however, study researchers note this new finding underscores the complexity of QOL measures.
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