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Manual Addresses Lupus Patient Care

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By News release • • April 3, 2000

An up-to-date, comprehensive professional manual called “LUPUS: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals”is now available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain. Many more women than men have lupus. It is three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women and is also more common in Hispanic, Asian and Native American women.

Lupus is a challenging disease due to its range of symptoms and irregular course. "Current medical information and good communication and teamwork between health professionals and patients are important to good care for this complex condition," says Dr. Stephen I. Katz, director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). NIAMS, a part of NIH, produced the new manual and leads and coordinates the federal medical research effort against lupus. "We hope that making this document widely available will help health professionals work with lupus patients to improve their care and quality of life." The “Guide” should be useful for the whole patient care team: nurses, physicians, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and patients themselves.

“LUPUS: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals” has eight chapters of comprehensive, practical information. The "Guide"'s 144 pages cover symptoms and diagnosis, advances in lupus research, lab tests for lupus diagnosis and evaluation, lupus medications, health care interventions for general and system-specific manifestations of lupus, psychosocial aspects, and lupus information resources: information sources, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The “Guide” also includes a chapter of 16 reproducible patient information sheets that encourage interaction between health care providers and patients on a wide range of special topics.

The “Guide” is an update and expansion of “Lupus Erythematosus: A Handbook for Nurses” by Terri Nass, RN. It was revised by a team of medical writers, nurses, and nurse educators, read and commented on by members of the National Black Nurses Association, and reviewed by leading physicians and nurses expert in lupus. Partners with NIAMS in this publication include three other parts of NIH—the Office of Research on Women's Health, the Office of Research on Minority Health, and the National Institute of Nursing Research—along with two nonprofit, private organizations, the SLE Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Source: The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases

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