Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


This study was designed to explore the relationship among perceived social support, health status, and quality of life in a sample of female systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. A strong positive correlation was found between perceived social support and quality of life. Negative correlations were found between perceived health status and perceived social support, and perceived health status and quality of life. Last, a negative correlation was found between objective health status and quality of life. In multiple regression analyses, perceived social support explained a significant amount of variance in the quality of life variable in conjunction with both observed health status and perceived health status. This study has important implications for workers in the health care industry. It is important for health care providers to pay attention to not only the physical, but also to the psychosocial components of health care delivery in relation to SLE patients. Because there is no known cure for SLE, attention needs to be focused on helping the SLE patient improve her life quality. This study has shown that both perceived health status and quality of life are related to social support and suggests that when working with patients with chronic illness such as SLE, the introduction of social support information may prove to be a very important component to a holistic treatment of mind and body.

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