Exploring the psychosocial concerns of out-patients with disfiguring conditions
Rumsey, N., Clarke, A. and White, P. (2003) Exploring the psychosocial concerns of out-patients with disfiguring conditions. Journal of Wound Care, 12 (7). pp. 247-252. ISSN 0969-0700
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Objective: This study was undertaken to establish the extent and type of psychosocial need in outpatients attending for treatment for a variety of disfiguring conditions. Method: A total of 220 outpatients receiving treatment for burns, skin conditions or head and neck cancer, together with those seeking plastic surgery for other appearance concerns, completed standardised measures of anxiety, depression, social anxiety and quality of life. Participants also completed a semi-structured interview exploring individual concerns and satisfaction with care. Results: A considerable proportion of the outpatients with disfiguring conditions experienced psychosocial difficulties, displaying raised levels of anxiety, depression, social anxiety and social avoidance and reduced quality of life. Levels of psychosocial distress were not well predicted by the severity of disfigurement. Conclusion: The psychosocial needs of these patients are not well met in the outpatient setting. Recommendations are made on how patients’ concerns might be more effectively addressed.