Cognitive dysfunction among people with systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with reduced participation in daily life

Moon Young Kim, Deepali Sen, Ronald R. Drummond, Matthew C. Brandenburg, Kathryn L.P. Biesanz, Alfred H.J. Kim, Seth A. Eisen, Carolyn M. Baum, Erin R. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the distribution of cognitive function in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by objective and self-report measures and associations between cognition and participation among people with SLE. Methods: Fifty-five volunteers with SLE (age: 39.7 ± 12.7yrs, female: 92.7%) completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to measure cognitive ability objectively, the Cognitive Symptom Inventory (CSI) and PROMIS Cognitive Function 8a (CF) to assess self-reported everyday cognition, and PROMIS-43 Profile to assess self-reported ability to participate in social roles and activities (participation) and other disease-associated symptoms (e.g., depression, pain, fatigue). Results: The average MoCA score was 25.3 ± 3.1, with 47.3% of participants scoring <26, which is indicative of cognitive impairment. Group average CSI (35.8 ± 7.9), CF (T-score = 45.0 ± 8.5), and participation (T-score = 46.9 ± 11.2) scores suggest mildly impaired functional cognition and participation compared to normative data. Participation correlated with self-reported everyday cognition measures (r ≥ 0.56, p < 0.01) but not with MoCA (r = 0.25, p = 0.06). In hierarchical linear regression analysis, CSI, fatigue, and pain were each significant independent predictors of participation (R2 = 0.78, p < 0.01). Conclusions: We found that cognitive dysfunction is common among people with SLE. Along with pain and fatigue, reduced everyday cognitive function contributes to reduced participation in social, leisure, work, and family-related activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1107
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • participation


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