Lupus Foundation of America Study on Hydroxychloroquine Reveals Experiential Factors are Paramount to Treatment and Adherence
Non-specialist primary physician and cultural factors are potential barriers
A new Lupus Foundation of America study on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) treatment and adherence confirms the gravity of experiential factors, such as medication impression and patient-reported symptom improvement, in HCQ treatment adherence. The study also identified the potential significance of having a specialist as the primary lupus doctor and cultural factors that negatively influence treatment adherence among certain racial groups. This research will be presented at the 13th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus this weekend in San Francisco.
In the research abstract entitled, Predictors of Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Adherence among People with Lupus, demographic and socioeconomic factors, perceptions and experiences influencing HCQ treatment adherence among 2,028 adults with lupus taking HCQ was analyzed.
HCQ has long been used to treat lupus and has been shown to reduce damage accrual, plus has protective effects on diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia as well as overall survival in people with lupus.1
Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents reported taking their medication exactly as prescribed all of the time, while 19 percent reported some of the time and 3 percent reported sometimes or never taking HCQ as prescribed. The study also found that people with lupus were twice as likely to adhere to HCQ if they reported having a rheumatologist as the primary doctor treating their lupus and more than twice as likely if they reported having a positive impression of HCQ or experienced improvement in treating their symptoms using HCQ.
Notably, African Americans and those indicating race as “Other” (mixed, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander or Middle Eastern) were 65 percent less likely to adhere to HCQ treatment.
“Treatment adherence is particularly important in lupus,” said Karin Tse, Senior Research Coordinator, Health Outcomes at the Lupus Foundation of America, and the study’s presenting author. “Given the complex nature of the disease and fluctuation of disease activity, poor adherence could exacerbate flares, increased times of disease activity, and morbidity.”
Further exploration is needed on cultural factors negatively influencing treatment adherence among certain racial groups, particularly African Americans and other racial groups (mixed, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander or Middle Eastern).
The Lupus Foundation of America will present their findings from this study during a poster session on April 7 from 8:00 – 9:00am at the International Congress – poster # 210. The Lupus Foundation of America’s Inside Lupus Research team will be attending the conference to report on important research findings coming out of the International Congress and provide live tweets and updates on Facebook. To stay connected on the latest research news, visit Inside Lupus Research.