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Revista Colombiana de Reumatología

versión impresa ISSN 0121-8123


HERNANDEZ-ZAPATA, Lady J.; ALZATE-VANEGAS, Sandra I.; ERASO, Ruth M.  y  YEPES-DELGADO, Carlos E.. Lupus: like a cancer but tinier-. Perceptions of systemic lupus erythematosus among adolescents nearing transition to adult care. Rev.Colomb.Reumatol. [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.3, pp.151-160. ISSN 0121-8123.


Patients with paediatric lupus nearing transition to adult care are expected to take responsibility for their care. Nevertheless, many are not prepared for this, and thus have a poorer prognosis. Using the self-regulation model, the perception of a condition determines the emotional responses and guides coping efforts, appraisal, feedback, and assimilation strategies.


To describe how adolescents nearing transition perceive lupus.

Materials and methods:

Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted using a hermeneutic approach with techniques from grounded theory. Interviews took place between July 2013 and September 2014. The participants were nine adolescents with diagnosed lupus.


A total of 1,800 codes were obtained that emerged as the following preliminary categories: "Attempting to explain the origin", where the cause of the disease is interpreted as immunosuppression, autoimmunity, association with cancer, guilt and influence of emotional factors, along with the diagnosis process. "What is lost", which includes changes, being treated differently, and having limitations. The last category was "positive aspects" deals with illness as a behavioural moderator, acquiring qualities, learning about bodily functioning and secondary gain.


Adolescents perceive their condition based on the implications of the changes experienced in their lives as a result of the diagnosis. Lupus affects several aspects of their lives and brings uncertainty and a need to adjust, leading them to look for explanations. More awareness of these perceptions is required because the latter, along with other factors, determine the strategies that adolescents develop to ensure their self-care and adaptation to any situations arising from living with the condition.

Palabras clave : Systemic lupus erythematosus; Social perception; Transition to adult care; Adolescent health; Life change events.

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