In SLE, Medication Non-Adherence, Depression Are Prevalent

young woman with her head in her hand
young woman with her head in her hand
In patients with SLE, 62.1% did not adhere to their medication regimens and 35% of patients demonstrated a depressed mood.

Not adhering to medication regimens and experiencing depressive symptoms were both common in Saudi patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to research published in the journal Lupus.

One reason treatment fails in patients with SLE is that patients do not take their medication according to their doctor’s instructions. Researchers therefore aimed to examine the prevalence of medication non-adherence and depression in Saudi SLE patients.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 140 outpatients with SLE (95.7% women; average age 35.6; mean disease duration 8.8 ±6.7 years. They used the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale to determine medication non-adherence, the Beck’s Depressional Inventory to assess depressed mood, and the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) to evaluate disease activity. They then used multiple logistic regression models to determine the multivariate predictors of non-adherence to medication.

The researchers found that 62.1% of patients did not adhere to their medication regimens, and 35% of patients demonstrated a depressed mood.

Researchers found a significant correlation between disease activity and severity of depressed mood (r=0.31, P =.003). Being moderately or severely depressed was significantly linked with not adhering to medication routines (P =.04). Logistic regression also demonstrated that moderate to severe depression increased the likelihood of a person not adhering to his/her medications (OR 2.62; 1.02-6.71).

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“Our study is considered to be the first study to address the relation between depression and medication non-adherence among SLE patients in the region,” the researchers noted.

“…Medication non-adherence and depression are highly prevalent among patients with SLE [systemic lupus erythematosus] in Saudi Arabia,” they wrote. “Early detection and management of depression and medication adherence could be achieved by incorporating pharmaceutical care and psychosocial evaluation.”

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Alsowaida N, Alrasheed M, Mayer A et al. Medication adherence, depression and disease activity among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2017;0:1-6.