Systemic lupus erythematosus: therapeutic updates and optimizing treatment

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Activity Description / Statement of Need:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with heterogeneous etiologies and clinical phenotypes, all with varying degrees of severity. Although the precise mechanism of SLE-related autoimmunity is still uncertain, strong evidence implicates a combination of genetic and environmental factors in the disease pathology. For most of the medical community, the primary challenges of SLE management stem from the disease heterogeneity, which leads to difficulty in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring.

Evidence suggests that there are a number of gaps in the treatment of lupus stemming from a suboptimal patient-provider relationship. Suggested remedies include a: patient-centered approach to care, improvement of disease awareness, focus on taking adequate time to provide disease and treatment information as well as treatment adherence, and sensitivity to patient concerns.

Target Audience:

Rheumatologists and primary care physicians and other specialists who care for patients with SLE (e.g., dermatologists, nephrologists, OBGYNs); physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in rheumatology; and any other HCPs with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with SLE.

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with a focus on the factors affecting disease progression, remission, and therapeutic mechanisms
  • Recall identification of SLE disease activity, flares, and treatment goals, both short- and long-term
  • Describe the influence of disease activity and corticosteroid use on organ damage in SLE
  • Evaluate available and emerging therapeutic options for SLE, individualizing treatment regimens based on patient and disease characteristics
  • Discuss the role and importance of patient-provider communication in charting a course of optimal treatment

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