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BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering

Online psychosocial support for young people distressed by appearance-altering conditions: A randomised control trial (RCT)

Alternative title: Internettbasert selvhjelpsprogram for ungdom som strever med utseenderelaterte bekymringer: En randomisert kontrollstudie

Awarded: NOK 9.8 mill.

Project Number:

287243

Application Type:

Project Period:

2019 - 2023

Location:

Partner countries:

Looking different in a society that values appearance can be challenging during adolescence. Some adolescents have conditions or injuries (such as burns, craniofacial or skin conditions) that affect their appearance. Those who experience themselves as visibly different may be at risk of developing social anxiety or depressive symptoms, and/or limit their social life experiences. There is very little available support for this group and specialised psychological services are limited in Norway. Therefore, there is a need for evidence-based interventions that could provide support for this group. Centre for Appearance Research (UK) has developed an online support programme, now translated to Norwegian (www.ungfaceit.no). The study will evaluate the programme's efficacy and usefulness for young people in Norway, and whether it can strengthen social skills and self-confidence. Ung Face IT includes seven weekly sessions followed by a booster session. It uses information, advice, videos, and interactive activities to teach coping strategies, think and feel more positively, and overcome social anxiety. The aim was to recruit 160 young people into the study, through local and specialised health care services, schools, patient organisations, and social media. Participants are randomly allocated to Ung Face IT (plus usual care provided within primary care), or assigned to the waiting control group (usual care for 3 months before testing out Ung Face IT). Recruitment ended in February 2021. In total, 137 young people/families have contacted the research team for participation during the recruitment period. Among these, 105 filled out the first questionnaire, and a final sample of 82 is expected. The Norwegian research team has since January 2021 collaborated with a Dutch team, so that samples from both countries could be merged, which strengthens statsitical power. A new meeting with the reference group is planned in October 2021. A total of 18 patient organisations and youth councils are represented. All documents are sent to all members before and after meetings, so that representatives who cannot participate still can provide input. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss preliminary findings and experiences. The study includes quantitative data (questionnaires) and qualitative data (interviews). Interviews of young people and parents explore the participants' individual experiences of Ung Face IT. A total of 35 participants have been interviewed, as well as 18 parents (total number of interviews = 53). To establish whether Ung Face IT may help young people who struggle with appearance issues due to a visible difference, participants also complete online questionnaires (main measures: body esteem and social confidence) at the beginning of the study, after 7 weeks, and after 3 and 6 months. Outcomes will be compared across the intervention and the control group. The research group curremtly works on analysing the results, and work on publications is ongoing. The study will provide insight into how Ung Face IT should be implemented in order to reach those in need of support. Ung Face IT fills a gap in current health care provision by offering an accessible and specialised appearance-specific intervention for a vulnerable subgroup who otherwise struggle to find help.

Looking different in a society that values appearance can be challenging during adolescence. Some adolescents have conditions or injuries (burns, craniofacial or skin conditions) that affect their appearance. Those who experience themselves as “visibly different” may be at risk of developing social anxiety or depression. There is very little available support for this group and specialised psychological services are limited in Norway. There is a need for evidence-based interventions that could provide support for this group. Centre for Appearance Research (UK) has developed an online support programme, now translated to Norwegian (www.ungfaceit.no). The study will evaluate the programme’s efficacy and usefulness for young people in Norway, and whether it can strengthen social skills and self-confidence. Ung Face IT includes seven weekly sessions followed by a booster session. It uses information, advice, videos, and interactive activities to teach coping strategies, think and feel more positively, and overcome social anxiety. A total of 160 young people will be recruited. Participants will be randomly allocated to Ung Face IT (plus usual care provided within primary care), or assigned to the control group (usual care for 6 months before testing out Ung Face IT). Interviews of young people and parents will explore the participants’ experiences of Ung Face IT (qualitative data). To establish whether Ung Face IT helps, participants will complete online questionnaires (worries with appearance and social confidence) at the beginning of the study, and after 3 and 6 months. Outcomes will be compared across the intervention and the control group (quantitative data). The study will provide insight into how Ung Face IT should be implemented in order to reach those in need of support. Ung Face IT fill a gap in current health care provision by offering an accessible and specialised appearance-specific intervention for a vulnerable subgroup who otherwise struggle to find help.

Publications from Cristin

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Funding scheme:

BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering