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Cognitive Testing, Reporting and Information in Lupus

by | Mar 1, 2021

Physicians and people with lupus support cognitive testing and reporting as part of a person’s lupus treatment record or patient chart.

Following the National Institutes of Health Toolbox Fluid Cognition Battery, a set of recommended cognitive measurements, researchers developed a visually engaging cognitive report and presented it to people with lupus and physicians. The groups evaluated the report separately.

The report was well received by both groups and believed useful for:

  • Distinguishing cognitive versus other issues
  • Explaining cognitive challenges
  • Improving patient–provider interactions
  • Guiding decision-making
  • Improving functioning or preventing impairment
  • Tracking cognitive function over time

Lead study researcher Laura Plantinga, PhD, shared, “Cognitive impairment, often described as ‘lupus fog,’ is commonly reported by SLE patients, but it is not frequently discussed in patient-provider interactions. This research explored the reactions of SLE patients and providers to a patient-friendly report of cognitive functioning, with the eventual goal of providing tools to identify cognitive issues and guide shared decision-making. Such informed discussions could help lessen the frustration of SLE patients experiencing these issues as well as give providers necessary information to support patients with their daily tasks, including SLE self-management.”

Between 20 percent and 60 percent of people with lupus experience some effect on their cognitive function. Capturing cognitive information through reporting can help identify potential cognitive issues or reassure healthy cognition, supporting a more positive relationship between patient and doctor, and, ultimately, a more positive experience for people with lupus. Learn more about coping with the cognitive symptoms of lupus.

Read the study

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