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Helping people adjust to visible disfigurement

Led by Professor Nichola Rumsey, UWE Bristol’s Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is a multidisciplinary research centre that makes a difference to the lives of many with appearance-related concerns, nationally and internationally.

“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 is a centre of excellence for research in appearance, disfigurement, body image and related studies. 

Their research helps develop practical, evidence-based strategies to help individuals and communities, and shift social norms.

With support from The Scar Free Foundation, CAR researchers established the Appearance Research Collaboration, made up of psychologists and clinicians.

The collaboration 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

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