Two people facing each other

Helping people adjust to visible disfigurement

Led by Professor Nichola Rumsey, UWE Bristol’s Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is a unique, multidisciplinary research centre that strives to make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people with appearance-related concerns in the United Kingdom and across the world.

“Thousands of children, adolescents and adults who are visibly different, face enormous challenges in our current appearance-oriented society. Many people who are living with a visible difference cope very well with the challenges they face, but many others experience considerable levels of concern and distress that can negatively impact on their quality of life.

It is essential that the psychological and social effects of appearance concerns are studied in order to assess what can be done to help those who are negatively affected, to manage everyday problems”.

CAR acts as a focus and centre of excellence for psychological and interdisciplinary research in appearance, disfigurement, body image and related studies, by bringing key players together to generate practical outcomes. Although many people report extensive difficulties, some of those affected adapt positively and succeed in minimising the impact of visible difference on their lives.

With support from The Healing Foundation, CAR researchers have established a collaboration of psychologists and clinicians known as the Appearance Research Collaboration, which has conducted a three year assessment of the factors contributing to successful adjustment in adults with a range of disfiguring conditions.

"As a result of this study we have developed a new intervention for psychologists to use with their patients to help them adjust to visible disfigurement and build their self-esteem."

Professor Nichola Rumsey

Back to top