Association of Women in Rheumatology National Conference

Association of Women in Rheumatology National Conference

August 20, 2019
4 min watch

HOP-STEP program builds plan for 'pregnancy success' in patients with lupus

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HILTON HEAD, S.C. — A program developed at Duke University called Healthy Outcomes in Pregnancy with SLE Through Education of Providers, or HOP-STEP, can educate providers and help rheumatologists across the country better care for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus who are, or are seeking to become, pregnant, according to Megan E.B. Clowse, MD, MPH.

“What we’ve learned from talking to doctors and to patients is that planning is key to pregnancy success for women with lupus,” Clowse, an associate professor of medicine and associate director of Duke Forge, at Duke University Medical Center, told Healio Rheumatology. “One of the biggest frustrations that rheumatologists often report is that patients just seem to show up pregnant in the middle of having active disease or taking dangerous medications, and then doctors are sort of stuck with the consequences, as are, unfortunately, the women.”

The HOP-STEP program, available online at, includes facts and education regarding medication safety and how to manage pregnancy safety in lupus, as well as videos featuring patients describing their own experiences.

There are also three CME sessions available in the program, including one on contraception, another on fostering conversations about pregnancy planning in lupus, and another program on medications. In addition, a handout includes talking points and facts that can help patients better plan and safely manage their pregnancy.

“It really has all the facts you need to get started to have this conversation,” Clowse said. “You don’t need to remember all the facts because they are on the sheet. So, please take a look at the website, and print out a couple copies of the handout, and give it a try. I think you might be surprised at how well the conversation goes, and how you and your patient are both really more informed at the end of it.”

Disclosure: Clowse reports project funding from GlaxoSmithKline.