The illness experience of youth with lupus/mixed connective tissue disease: a mixed methods analysis of patient and parent perspectives.

TitleThe illness experience of youth with lupus/mixed connective tissue disease: a mixed methods analysis of patient and parent perspectives.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKnight AM, Vickery ME, Fiks AG, Barg FK
JournalLupus
Date Published2016 Apr 28
ISSN1477-0962
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to develop a model of the illness experience for youth with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)/mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).

METHODS: We conducted 32 semi-structured interviews with 16 outpatient youth with SLE/MCTD, age 11 to 22 years, and their parents. We qualitatively defined key features of illness for families and distinguished profiles of youth adapting well vs poorly to SLE/MCTD. We then related these profiles to features of illness, patient-level attributes and outcomes.

RESULTS: Experiences with SLE/MCTD grouped into five themes: managing disease, limitations, stigma, illness uncertainty and psychological coping. Youth adapting well experienced minimal challenges in these areas. Youth adapting poorly (4/16) experienced significant challenges in >1 thematic area, and were older with lower socioeconomic status, quality of life and psychosocial functioning, and increased disease-related morbidity. They also described suboptimal treatment adherence, healthcare utilization and transition to adult care. These findings support a dynamic model in which illness adaptation and outcomes are shaped by patient characteristics and five central illness-related challenges.

CONCLUSION: Further testing of our model of illness experience may help guide comprehensive and personalized care of youth with SLE/MCTD, with targeted supports for youth at risk for negative adaptation to illness and poor outcomes.

DOI10.1177/0961203316646460
Alternate JournalLupus
PubMed ID27125290