Effects of a Continuous Care Model on Patients’ Knowledge and Health-Related Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of applying continuous care model (CCM) on the knowledge level and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and their perceptions of family awareness about the disease. Design: Continuous care model was implemented for 3 months on 34 SLE patients, in a pretest–posttest quasi-experimental design. Methods: Two sets of questionnaires were designed for knowledge assessment. HRQoL was assessed by SF-36 questionnaires. Analysis was by paired t-test and one-way ANOVA. Findings: Continuous care model significantly improved patients’ knowledge level and their perceptions of their family members’ awareness of their disease. HRQoL status in SLE patients was poorer than the general population in six of eight SF-36 scales (p < .05), except for Bodily Pain and Mental Health. Postintervention scores showed improvement in six SF-36 scales (p < .001), except for Bodily Pain and Social Functioning. Conclusions: Our results underlined the advantages of applying CCM as a comprehensive method of self-care in SLE. Clinical Relevance: Despite many improvements in SLE care the patients’ quality of life is still much affected by SLE. Implementation of CCM could lead to improvement in the knowledge and HRQoL of SLE patients.