People with Childhood-Onset Lupus Benefit from Complementary Treatment Beyond Medication
New research finds that complementary approaches to treatment, in addition to drug therapy, can help improve health outcomes and quality of life in people with childhood-onset lupus (cSLE). Though cSLE is associated with pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression, evidence suggests psychotherapy, such as meeting with a therapist, educational or emotional support groups and other interventions can help.
Researchers reviewed findings from 14 different studies, consisting of data from more than 1,100 individuals with cSLE. While the quality of the evidence based on each study’s design was graded as moderate or low, the investigators noted several promising modes of therapy:
- Dietary Supplements: Two of the three studies assessing the efficacy of dietary supplements found they were linked to improvements in disease activity and fatigue.
- Aerobic Exercise: One study looking at aerobic exercise (physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate) found it helped to decrease resting heart rate and improve heart and lung function.
- Education and Support: Educational and emotional support groups were linked to significant improvements in treatment adherence and heart disease risk factors.
- Psychotherapy: Two of the three studies looking at the impact of psychotherapy showed it was associated with improvements in treatment adherence, depression and fatigue.
Compared to adult-onset lupus, cSLE is associated with increased disease severity and higher mortality rates. Identifying additional treatment approaches to compliment and support traditional medical therapy is critically important and further research is needed. Learn more about caring for children and teens with lupus.