Australian health professionals’ perspectives of psychosocial adjustment to visible differences: A qualitative analysis of pediatric populations
Gee, Caroline; Maskell, Jessica; Newcombe, Peter; Kimble, Roy; Williamson, Heidi
Heidi Williamson Heidi3.Williamson@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Applied Health Research
Living with a visible difference (e.g., disfigurement) can compromise a child’s psychological wellbeing. Although some children can adjust well, others can develop a range of appearance-related issues such as social anxiety, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction. However, current research fails to confirm what factors contribute to appearance-related distress, and what factors buffer the consequences of living with a visible difference. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 Australian specialist health professionals who care for children with visible differences. Interviews explored the type of appearance-related psychosocial concerns presented to a pediatric hospital, perspectives on the impact of appearance-related distress, as well as factors and processes that health professionals perceive influence adjustment. Data were subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Rich evidence was offered by health professionals, which demonstrated deep understanding of the psychological wellbeing of their patients. Three themes were identified: Mind, Body, and Soul; Stages of Life; and Individual Differences. Findings highlighted the complexity of appearance-related distress, with individual differences in adjustment, and the powerful impact it can have on a child’s short and long-term psychosocial wellbeing. The importance of reaching consensus in the conceptualisation and measurement of psychological wellbeing is stressed, and key domains associated with adjustment are proposed.
Gee, C., Maskell, J., Newcombe, P., Kimble, R., & Williamson, H. (2020). Australian health professionals’ perspectives of psychosocial adjustment to visible differences: A qualitative analysis of pediatric populations. Body Image, 33, 13-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.02.004
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Feb 7, 2020|
|Online Publication Date||Feb 19, 2020|
|Publication Date||Jun 1, 2020|
|Deposit Date||Apr 28, 2020|
|Publicly Available Date||Aug 20, 2021|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||ChildrenYoung people Appearance-related distress, Psychosocial adjustment ,Health professionals ,Visible difference|
This file is under embargo until Aug 20, 2021 due to copyright reasons.
Contact Heidi3.Williamson@uwe.ac.uk to request a copy for personal use.
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