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The Outcomes of an e-Wellness Program for Lupus Patients in Thailand: A Participatory Action Research Approach
Nop Ratanasiripong1 , Steven Cahill1, Christine Crane1, Paul Ratanasiripong2
1California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, United States
2California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, United States
Corresponding Author: Nop Ratanasiripong ,Email: nratanasiripong@csudh.edu
Received: November 30, 2022;  Accepted: February 13, 2023.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus patients usually experience various physical and psychological challenges. Since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, these challenges have become even harsher. Using the participatory action research approach, this study evaluated how an e-wellness program (eWP) impacted SLE-related knowledge and health behaviors, mental health, and quality of life among lupus patients in Thailand.
A 1-group, pretest-posttest design study was conducted among a purposive sample of lupus patients who were members of Thai SLE Foundation. The 2 main intervention components were: 1) online social support, and 2) lifestyle and stress management workshops. Sixty-eight participants completed all the study requirements, including the Physical and Psychosocial Health Assessment questionnaire.
After being in the eWP for 3 months, participants’ mean score for SLE-related knowledge increased significantly (t=5.3, p<0.001). The increase in sleep hours was statistically significant (Z=-3.1, p=0.00), with the percentage of participants who slept less than 7 hours decreasing from 52.9% to 29.0%. The percentage of participants reporting sun exposure decreased from 17.7% to 8.8%. The participants also reported significantly lower stress (t (66) =-4.4, p<0.001) and anxiety (t(67)=-2.9, p=0.005). The post-eWP quality of life scores for the pain, planning, intimate relationship, burden to others, emotional health, and fatigue domains also improved significantly (p<0.05).
The overall outcomes showed promising results of improved self-care knowledge, health behaviors, mental health status, and quality of life. It is recommended that the SLE Foundation continues to use the eWP model to help the lupus patient community.
Key words: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Intervention; Knowledge; Mental Health; Quality of Life
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