Illness Perceptions and Self-Efficacy in African American Women Diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


August 2020

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Background: There has been a growing body of research during the past decade which points to the disproportionately high rates of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) morbidity and mortality among African American women in the United States. Of the research on health perceptions and behavioral modification, there has been limited research examining African American women’s beliefs and perceptions about their illness or views about their own self efficacy which is the ability to exercise some measure of control over their illness. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore illness perceptions and self-efficacy in African American women diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus utilizing the Modified Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised and the Modified Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Disease Six-Item Scale and to examine whether relationships existed between these measurements and demographic characteristics. Methods: This pilot study utilized a descriptive, exploratory research design. Sample: The sample consisted of 40 African American women diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus for at least six months or longer, 18 years of age or older and current residents of the United States. Data Analysis: Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (central tendency, interquartile ranges, variance, means, and standard deviation), correlational analysis (Pearson’s correlations, Logistic Regression and Multiple Regression) and tests of differences (t-tests, Mann-Whitney U). A statistical significance of ∂≤.05 was used for this research. Conclusion: One of the central findings of this pilot study confirmed that African American women who expressed a greater sense of self-efficacy in responding to their SLE were found to have more positive perceptions about their ability to live with and cope in the face of this often-debilitating chronic illness. Higher self-efficacy was found to predict reduced negative illness perceptions for Emotions, Illness Coherence, Consequences and Personal Control. Although the exploratory design and limited sample size requires cautious generalization to the larger population of SLE patients, the confirmation of the positive role for self-efficacy supports treatment modalities that bolster individual competency in managing their conditions and provides the groundwork for comparative studies across ethnic groups and can more thoroughly examine the potential impact of self-efficacy on illness perceptions among a larger sample of African American women co-existing with Lupus.



Health Sciences, Nursing