Missed opportunities for timely diagnosis of pediatric lupus in South Africa: a qualitative study.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a serious multisystem autoimmune disease, which is more aggressive in children and people of African descent. In South Africa, pediatric SLE (pSLE) patients are at high risk for severe disease. Similar to pSLE worldwide, South African children and adolescents with SLE require subspecialized medical care. The aim of this study is to describe the care-seeking experiences of families and examine factors that contribute to delays in the diagnosis of pSLE. Specifically, we sought to identify factors to inform interventions that support the timely referral and diagnosis of pediatric SLE patients in South Africa.