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Living better with SLE: A psychosocial perspective by Davide Mazzoni

Living better with SLE: A psychosocial perspective by Davide Mazzoni (Reserach fellow in the Department of Psychology - University of Bologna (Italy), member of Italian SLE Group

Living better with SLE: A psychosocial perspective is the theme of a project Davide Mazzoni developed. The research study was coordinated by Elvira Cicognani.

“The literature review brought up different aspects which result is particularly important from a patient’s perspective in their life. Studies showed that psychosocial factors, like illness manifestations/symptoms?, social support and coping strategies are crucial in understanding of SLE patients’ experience.

The three main metaphors used by professionals to describe lupus related diseases were discovered:
• Wolf. The word “lupus” (Latin for wolf) is attributed to the thirteenth century physician Rogerius who used it to describe facial lesions that were reminiscent of a wolf’s (i.e. canis lupus) bite.
This metaphor emphasizes the skin involvement and is functional to describe a quite severe disease.
• The monster Hydra derives from ancient Greek mythology. This frightening beast, had an uncertain number of heads and it was said that the cutting off of one head led to the growth of two others. In analogy with the Hydra, SLE can present itself in a multitude of guises, which are usually intermittently active.
The successful treatment of one manifestation, such as arthritis may be followed by the emergence of other clinical features such renal disease or skin rash
• The Butterfly symbolizes the symmetrical malar erythema reaction