Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with an unknown aetiology. Although there is no definite treatment for this disease using proper prescribed medications, mortality and morbidity ratios could be decreased. The present study attempted to investigate adherence to medical treatment in patients suffering from SLE and to evaluate the related factors which influence adherence in order to improve patients’ prognoses. In this cross-sectional study, 132 patients with SLE who referred to the rheumatology clinic of Imam Khomeini Hospital (Tehran, Iran) over the period of 2012-2013 were
examined using a questionnaire. The applied questionnaire included two parts; the first part pertained to adherence to medication treatments (CQR: compliance questionnaire rheumatology), and the second part was related to the factors involved in adherence to medication treatments. The obtained data were analyzed using the Chi-Square test and processed by SPSS16.0 software.
In this research, the mean adherence to drug treatment was calculated to be 72.48%. Among the variables of age, marital status, salary, education, distance from the clinic (accessibility), disease duration, level of patient activity, main medications consumed, and side effects, the only significant association was found between adherence level and lack of side effects due to SLE (p <0.05). One hypothesis regarding the cause of appropriate adherence to medical treatment in the studied group could be the hope
of never experiencing side effects; however, more investigation is needed to prove this theory.