Introduction. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that affects various organs and systems. These patients develop disability in various stages of disease progression, which has a significant impact on individuals and society.
The objectives of the study were to assess work disability in patients with SLE.
Methods. We carried out a cross-sectional study including SLE patients (according to the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics – SLICC – classification criteria, 2012). The disability status was studied using American and Moldavian disability criteria. Validated questionnaires were applied: absenteeism and presenteeism at work, socio-economic status was calculated according to the Kuppuswamy scale and the quality of life using SF-8.
Results. The study included 132 SLE patients. 20 patients (15.1%) with early disease (<24 months) had disability and the frequency of disability increased over the course of the disease. The duration of the disease, the activity and the PGA correlated significantly with the disability. Predictors of early disability in SLE group were high disease activity, poor education, exhausting physical work and residents of the rural area.
Conclusions. Patients with SLE have disability in 81 (61.3%) cases. According to the criteria in list 14.02, it was found that 97 (73.4%) vs. 81 (61.3%) of the patients included in the study complied with the American and Moldavian disability criteria.
Key words: systemic lupus erythematosus, disability, quality of life.
Abbreviations: SLE – systemic lupus erythematosus; VLA – deficiency of valuable life activities; PGA – Patient global assessment; PhGA – Physician global assessment.