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Br J Plast Surg. 1996 Jul;49(5):281-9.

An evaluation of the impact of social interaction skills training for facially disfigured people.

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  • 1Faculty of Health and Community Studies, University of the West of England, London, UK.


Facially disfigured people can experience significant psychological problems, commonly relating to difficulties in social interaction. The effect of social interaction skills workshops on the psychological well-being of 64 facially disfigured participants is described. Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD), the Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (SAD) and an open-ended questionnaire, before a workshop and at 6 weeks and 6 months follow-up. The high levels of anxiety evident prior to the workshop fell significantly 6 weeks post-workshop (HSD = 1.297, P < 0.01) and remained significantly lower at 6 month follow-up (HSD = 1.563, P < 0.01). Similarly, SAD scores fell significantly at 6 weeks (HSD = 1.89, P < 0.05) and again at 6 month follow-up (HSD = 2.26, P < 0.01). 6 weeks post-workshop, participants reported feeling more confident in the company of strangers (HSD = -1.266, P < 0.01) and about meeting new people (HSD = -1.159, P < 0.01). This increase in confidence was maintained at 6 months (HSD = -1.068 and -1.042 respectively, P < 0.01 for both). 61% of those who experienced problems before the workshop reported a positive change in these situations. The potential of these workshops as an addition to surgical intervention is discussed.

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