Updates to guidelines on managing lupus

Updates to guidelines on managing lupus

This year, the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) will be updating its guidelines for managing and treating lupus to include the latest research and a whole life-course approach, from childhood to adulthood.

What are the guidelines?

The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) publish guidelines about the diagnosis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These help healthcare professionals to follow the most up-to-date approach, using the safest and most effective treatments. They also help to make the diagnosis and treatment of lupus more consistent across the UK, to try to give people equal access to care, regardless of where they live.

Who are the guidelines for?

The guidelines are for consultants, specialist nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals who work with people with SLE. They are also designed for people with lupus and their caregivers so that they can learn about the most up-to-date information about the treatment of lupus.

Why are they being updated?

There are two main reasons for the new guidelines:

  1. There has been new research and updates to treatments since the guidelines were first developed in 2017. As doctors use the guidelines to help them diagnose and treat SLE, new guidelines will help ensure the most up-to-date approach is followed.
  2. The current guidelines only cover adults with SLE, and the new guidelines will include people of all ages. This is important as about 1 in 5 cases of lupus start in childhood, and there may be different considerations for treatment in young people.

How do they update the guidelines?

The guidelines are updated by a specialist ‘working group’, who will examine the latest research and consider their clinical and personal experiences. The working group for this guideline includes people with SLE, representatives from patient organisations (including LUPUS UK), and healthcare professionals including paediatric and adult rheumatologists, nephrologists, GPs, specialist nurses, and more.

When will they be published?British Society for Rheumatology logo

The new guideline is expected to be published towards the end of 2024.

What do LUPUS UK think about the guidelines being updated?

LUPUS UK is involved in the update of the guidelines as part of the working group. Paul Howard, CEO, had this to say:

“People living with SLE typically have a significant role in managing and coordinating their healthcare, which can be shared between multiple specialties. This revised guideline will provide new tools to help patients understand what they should expect from their monitoring and treatment, providing additional confidence to ask important questions of their healthcare professionals. I very much welcome this guideline update and I am pleased that the LUPUS UK team is supporting its development.”

Read about the scope and methods of the guideline update here: https://academic.oup.com/rheumap/article/7/3/rkad093/7458323 



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