School of Nursing and Midwifery
AUT School of Clinical Sciences PBRF
Childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) impacts the daily life of children and young people. This study aimed to describe the experiences and perspectives of children and young people living with cSLE. An integrative review guided by Whittemore and Knafl was conducted. Extant empirical research published in peer-reviewed journals from 2000 to 2021 on children’s self-reported experiences living with cSLE was identified from Scopus, CINAHL, Medline via PubMed, and PsycINFO via Ovid databases. Nineteen studies involving over 1400 participants were included. Four themes and fourteen sub-themes were identified: (1) challenging symptoms (disruptions to life and altered self, severity, fatigue, depression, and anxiety), (2) medicines and side effects (dreaded steroids, conflicting feelings, and medication adherence), (3) complicated life (school sports and social, giving things up, lack of understanding, and quality of life) and (4) ways of coping (family and friends, relationships with health providers, and maintaining positivity). While cSLE shares many similarities with adult-onset SLE, awareness of differences in experiences and perceptions of children and young people is crucial. The significant psychological and social impact of the disease and its treatments necessitates a comprehensive, holistic approach to managing cSLE that considers the unique needs of youth.
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