Participation Doubles After Lupus Support Group at HSS Transitions to Virtual Format During Pandemic – QNT Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) highlights the success of a lupus peer support and education group that transitioned to a virtual format during the pandemic. In addition to receiving high marks from group members, participation more than doubled after the meetings went remote.

“Studies have demonstrated the benefits of online peer support forums in meeting the mental health, disease self-management and coping needs of people living with a chronic illness,” explained Giselle RodriguezLCSW, social work program coordinator for Charla de Lupus (Lupus Chat)® at HSS. “Although in-person meetings were no longer viable during the pandemic, the virtual groups offered an effective platform for patients to continue to meet with their peers, reduce isolation and expand the reach to additional family members at home and across the country.”

Rodriguez presented the study, “Evaluating the Effectiveness & Impact of an In-Person Peer Support Group That Transitioned to a Virtual Platform During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” at ACR Convergence 2022, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, in Philadelphia on November 12.

At the monthly support group, which has been ongoing at HSS since 2001, social workers, rheumatologists and other health care professionals offer information on topics related to lupus, such as medications, nutrition, pain management and research. The bilingual social work team translates all presentations into Spanish to distribute to Spanish-speaking members prior …

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