Health care practitioners’ confidence assessing lupus-related rashes in patients of color

Vijay Kannuthurai, Jacob Murray, Ling Chen, Elizabeth A. Baker, Lisa Zickuhr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with skin of color (P-SOC) are disproportionately burdened by lupus and often have worse disease outcomes than white patients. This is partly because educational materials underrepresent P-SOC, thereby promoting unconscious bias and clinical deficiencies among practitioners. Purpose: We sought to measure providers' confidence in diagnosing the cutaneous manifestations of lupus (i.e., lupus-related rashes) in P-SOC and to assess which factors influenced their confidence. Research Design: We created and distributed a survey that gathered information about participants' personal characteristics, clinical specialty, training, and current practice as well as measuring their confidence assessing lupus-related rashes in various skin tones. Study Sample: Practitioners from the fields of rheumatology, dermatology, and internal medicine in the greater St. Louis area (Missouri, USA) participated in the survey. Analysis: We compared practitioners' mean confidence levels assessing lupus-related rashes in patients with fair skin and P-SOC with a linear mixed effects model and used univariate and multivariate linear regression models to determine if the aforementioned factors correlated with confidence. Results: Participants' mean confidence in diagnosing lupus-related rashes in P-SOC was significantly lower than assessing such findings in patients with fair skin (p =.009). Several factors correlated with confidence level at a univariate level; however, the multivariate model revealed experience as the only factor significantly associated with confidence (p =.001). Conclusions: Providers report significantly less confidence assessing lupus-related rashes in P-SOC than in patients with fair skin. Our analysis demonstrates that experience positively correlates with confidence and suggests that interventions which enhance practitioners' exposure to and experience with these rashes in P-SOC can improve clinical confidence as well as patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1998-2002
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • cutaneous lupus
  • discoid lupus
  • health equity
  • medical education
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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