Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a rare and complex systemic autoimmune disease of unknown cause, that affects the skin and multiple organs due to fibrosis. SSc is a clinically heterogeneous disease, since patients can experience a broad range of symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, impaired hand function, loss of joint mobility, dry mouth, and sleeping difficulties. These symptoms are commonly associated with a considerable impact on the ability to carry out everyday activities, and the majority of patients reports impairments in their physical as well as mental health–related quality of life.
Comprehensive care in chronic diseases, including SSc, involves a combination of both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. Because there is no cure, nonpharmacologic treatment, including psychological, educational, and rehabilitation interventions, may be provided as an adjunct to medical treatment in SSc.
The body of knowledge regarding nonpharmacologic care in systemic sclerosis (SSc) is limited and fragmented. A wide variety exists in treatment targets, the content of nonpharmacologic interventions, and outcomes measures.