Appearance-related concerns resulting from disfigurement or pressure to conform to beauty ideals, indiscriminately affect patients’ mental and physical health. Healthcare professionals face the challenge of addressing patients’ support needs. Therefore a European University Consortium developed a course to address learning needs. Prior to its design, a study with multi-disciplinary European healthcare professionals was conducted to maximize its relevance and acceptability. Healthcare professionals (n = 718; 48% nurses, 30% doctors, 22% allied health professionals) were surveyed regarding the nature and impact of patients’ appearance concerns, confidence in key areas associated with detecting/addressing concerns, and training/educational needs. Participants reported that this subject is highly relevant and 70% described the psychosocial impact of appearance concerns across the lifespan resulting from disfiguring conditions, disability, neurological disease, ageing and weight/shape dissatisfaction. Participants, irrespective of their experience, self-reported inadequate knowledge regarding appearance-specific care, 87% requested further information and 70% wanted access to an accredited course; barriers deterring participation in training were identified. Healthcare professionals across multiple specialties are caring for patients with a wide-range of appearance concerns that impact on physical and mental health and want to increase their appearance-specific knowledge and expertise. Results have informed training/courses which have the potential to improve patient care and ameliorate health-related outcomes.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)
- Body image
- Healthcare professionals
- Training needs