Study Finds Lupus Nephritis Care Across Clinical Settings May Be Good, but Not Equal
Researchers examined the performance of 25 different clinics in California across healthcare settings to assess the quality of Lupus Nephritis (LN) care provided to their respective patient populations. Each clinic’s performance was evaluated based on the timeliness and adequacy of their screening, diagnosis and treatment procedures.
The study looked at the care received by 250 diverse participants with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with and without LN. Researchers measured quality of care at each setting by measuring them against eight quality variables related to LN screening, diagnosis and management (i.e., running comprehensive and regularly scheduled screening labs, adequate blood pressure control following LN diagnosis, timely initiation of medications, etc.).
The study found that overall performance scores for LN management across healthcare settings were relatively high. However, academic clinics performed significantly better than community clinics across all quality of care measures, even after adjusting for patient characteristics and disease severity. These findings underscore the need to ensure patients are receiving equally high-quality care regardless of their treatment center location, and extra care may be needed to ensure community clinics in particular are providing the best possible LN care.
With up to 60% of people with SLE experiencing kidney involvement as part of their disease course, it’s crucial to understand the quality of LN screening and treatment provided across clinical settings. This is the first study to examine the quality of LN screening, diagnosis and treatment procedures across multiple healthcare settings, and it allowed the researchers to identify current gaps in care, particularly for LN screening among those with a confirmed lupus nephritis diagnosis. Learn about how lupus affects the kidneys.