Acceptability and feasibility of an online psychosocial intervention for adolescents with a visible difference: a mixed-methods study (preprint)

Abstract

Introduction: Adolescents with a visible difference can experience difficult social situations, (e.g., people staring or making unwanted comments) and are at risk for mental health problems. Unfortunately, interventions for adolescents with a visible difference who experience appearance-related distress are scarce and lack an evidence-base. This study tests the acceptability and feasibility of YP Face IT, an innovative online psychological intervention, in Dutch adolescents. Methods: Adolescents aged 12-18 with a visible difference and access to an internet-enabled computer or tablet participated. They completed YP Face IT (eight sessions). Prior and directly after YP Face IT questionnaires were administered to inform future study design. After YP Face IT in-depth interviews took place to assess the acceptability and feasibility of YP Face IT and study procedures. Results: 15 adolescents consented to participation, one person dropped out after one session. Adolescents appreciated the intervention and would recommend it to other adolescents experiencing appearance-related distress. Everyone reported personal growth after following the sessions. Some struggled with motivation, but reminders by the website and research team were helpful. Discussion: The Dutch YP Face IT intervention is acceptable and feasible to use. An RCT should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the intervention.

Marije van Dalen
Marije van Dalen
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include the mental health and well-being of adolescents with a visible difference.

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