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  Dr Heidi Williamson
Dr Heidi Williamson
Research and Health Psychologist
University of the West of England, Bristol

YP Face It.

  An innovative and interactive seven-week, online support programme for young people aged 12-17 with a visible difference called YP-Face It was awarded over £289,000 funding from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme, obtained with RDS support.

There is a lack of evidence-based psychological interventions and limited support resources to address the psychosocial difficulties experienced by young people (YP) with disfigurement (visible difference) resulting from traumatic injury, congenital or skin conditions and surgical or medical treatments. The YP Face IT team therefore developed an innovative and interactive seven-week, online support programme called YP Face IT that requires minimal supervision from health professionals. YP Face IT addresses key concerns of young people with visible difference including low self- esteem, depression, social and appearance-related anxiety. It provides self- management skills via social skills training and CBT techniques.

Dr Heidi Williamson said “We made contact with the RDS early on in the planning of our study to investigate the feasibility of YP Face IT, which is essential to make the most of the team’s expertise. As a group, we debated at length the design of the study, and were given advice on where to apply for funding and when. Our draft protocol was reviewed by the RDS, and their constructive comments informed a draft RfPB application which was reviewed by the RDS Project Review Committee. This latter stage was the most helpful as it’s reflective of the review process by the RfPB committee and provided feedback from a wider group of reviewers with expertise in PPI, research and clinical practice. The RDS team were interested, conscientious and keen to help us succeed.”

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