Wanted: Young people aged 12-17 to test an online programme for those with appearance concerns

Issue date: 06 October 2014


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The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE Bristol is looking for young people aged 12 – 17 to take part in a study testing out a new support programme for those with a condition that affects their appearance.

YP Face IT was developed by Health Psychologists at the Centre for Appearance Research in collaboration with young people with a condition that affects their appearance. The aim of the programme is to teach skills to young people who have concerns because of a condition that affects appearance, so that they can feel and act more confidently. The specially-developed programme uses interactive activities, videos, illustrations and avatars to teach techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy and social skills training.

Claire Hamlet, who is co-ordinating the study, said, “Research indicates that 1 in 500 people in the UK have a condition, injury or have undergone treatment that affects appearance, such as a skin condition, hair loss, or scarring, yet there is a lack of evidence-based psychosocial support for teenagers with a condition that affects appearance.”

The study is funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme and is being led by Professor Diana Harcourt and Dr Heidi Williamson. This feasibility study will run until July 2016 and the findings will inform a full randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of YP Face IT.

Claire continued, “A randomised controlled trial is widely recognised as the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. If YP Face IT demonstrates a reduction in appearance distress and improvements in wellbeing, our hope is that one day the programme will be routinely available to young people through the NHS, providing immediate support to young people affected by appearance-related distress.”

You can find out more about YP Face IT by visiting www.ypfaceit.co.uk

If you, or someone you know, is interested in testing the YP Face IT website, please contact Claire Hamlet, email claire.hamlet@uwe.ac.uk, telephone 0117 32 83513

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