Lupus is a chronic debilitating rheumatic autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects African American women. A phenomenological approach was used to conduct confidential semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore “lived experiences” of coping and self-efficacy among 10 African American women diagnosed with lupus. Six major themes identified included self-awareness, religion and spirituality, a sense of connectedness, stigma, empowerment, and peer perceptions. These themes highlighted human agency and coping self-efficacy exhibited by African American women that facilitate chronic disease management and self-care. Perceptions of coping self-efficacy varied and the women’s “use of self” was instrumental to their individualized way of coping with their lupus diagnosis. Study findings increase cultural awareness, understanding, and potentially empathy from providers, employers/colleagues, and family members about African American women’s experiences of living with lupus.
Singleton Tyler M, Wooten Nikki, Faith Trevor D and Williams Edith M
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