Objective: Antiphospholipid (Hughes) syndrome (APS) is recognised as a systemic autoimmune disease defined by recurrent thromboembolic events and/or pregnancy morbidity. Little is known about the psychological burden of this long-term condition. This study aims to explore the relationship between social support and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with APS.
Methods: A total of 270 patients with a clinical diagnosis of APS participated in a cross-sectional online questionnaire survey. Data included demographics, disease-related information, social support and HRQoL.
Results: Both perceived and ideal social support were associated with HRQoL in APS. Patients reported receiving insufficient social support. Perceived emotional support was related to physical functioning (B = 7.77, p = .006, 95% CI: 2.25, 13.29); perceived instrumental support was associated with bodily pain (B = 17.52, p < .001, 95% CI: 11.15, 23.90) and perceived informational support with physical and social functioning (B = −6.30, p = .05, 95% CI: −12.52, −0.08; B = 8.06, p = .02, 95% CI: 1.17, 14.94). Ideal emotional support was related to physical and social functioning (B = 5.80, p = .04, 95% CI: 0.26, 11.34; B = 7.53, p = .04, 95% CI: 0.55, 14.51); ideal instrumental support was associated with mental health (B = 4.73, p = .03, 95% CI: 0.38, 9.07) and ideal informational support with vitality (B = 5.85, p = .01, 95% CI: 1.23, 10.46).
Conclusion: Social support was linked to HRQoL in patients with APS. Insufficient social support was associated with limitations in various HRQoL domains. Increasing social support especially through provision of disease-specific education might contribute to improving HRQoL in patients with APS. Patient-tailored interventions addressing psychosocial aspects of living with APS are needed to improve patients’ psychological and physical status.
- Antiphospholipid (Hughes) syndrome (APS)
- social support
- health-related quality of life (HRQoL)
- short-form health survey (SF-36)