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New assessment tool helps shed light on lupus in kids worldwide
Date:11/9/2010

A newly designed tool is helping researchers shed light on the quality of life (QoL) of children with lupus around the world, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting, held Nov. 7-11, in Atlanta.

"Lupus is a significant disease with a major impact on QoL of children around the world. This is a chronic, unremitting disease that we need to get under better control," said Thomas J.A. Lehman, M.D., chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery, who was involved with the study. "We have done better at treating the disease and lessening the impact of the disease on children around the world, but we still lack a cure."

Lakshmi Nandini Moorthy, M.D., a pediatric rheumatologist in the ambulatory care center in the Department of Medicine at HSS who served as principal investigator of the study, said the study had a couple of take home points. "Parents across multiple cultures seem to perceive that children with lupus have a lower quality of life than their children actually report. That could reflect a greater perception of their child's vulnerability or a parent's own quality of life or anxiety," said Dr. Moorthy, who is also chief of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "A second interesting point is that in this particular study, the children in an Asian country report a better quality of life than children in Europe or South America. We need to gather more data and more details to confirm this result."

The study was conducted using a 26 item health-related quality of life assessment tool developed by Dr. Moorthy several years ago while she was a pediatric rheumatology fellow at HSS. Before the SMILEY tool (Simple Measure of Impact of Lupus Erythematosus in Youngsters), there was no good way to measure quality of life in lupus patients. The only tools available were gene
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
phyllis.fisher@gmail.com
212-606-1197
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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