Date of Conferral
While systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been traditionally viewed as a woman's disease, SLE impacts men as well. Although most research on SLE has concentrated on how it affected women, little is known about how it impacts men. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine how men who live with SLE perceive its psychological impact. Using the lens of the biopsychological theory, common themes were examined pertaining to how men with SLE perceive the impact that SLE has on their cognitive and emotional functioning. Data were collected via interviews with 9 men with SLE, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis to determine common themes. The following common themes emerged: reflections on life before SLE, changes in interpersonal relationships, changes in intimate relationships, changes in self-concept, and changes in perspective about living with lupus. These themes suggest that, in order to improve the quality of life for patients living with SLE, it is not enough to address the physical symptoms; it is necessary to address the cognitive and emotional impacts of the disease process as well. Implications for positive social change of this research study include providing a greater level of understanding of the psychological impact of SLE on men as a resource for professional therapists and psychologists who are trying to find information that would be beneficial for their male SLE clients. Additional potential implications for positive social change include providing information for families and caregivers of those men with SLE, and how the disease impacts them from a psychological standpoint.