Living with SLE is a major task for the patients and their social environment. In modern health care, quality of life is increasingly incorporated as an important outcome. Studying novels about illness is a new method of exploring quality of life in patients with an illness. In this paper, we use the novel A tribe of women by Hervé Bazin as data to explore how a patient with SLE gives meaning to her illness and how her social environment reacts toward the illness and its treatment. We find that the novel—probably the only one where SLE is a major subject—offers a rich set of data on “living with SLE”. Our findings may be instrumental in encouraging health care providers to explore quality of life in patients with SLE, incorporating self-management in order to improve their quality of life, and in teaching medical students about “medical humanities”.
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