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Psychosocial interventions for adults with visible differences: A systematic review

Moss, Timothy P.; Norman, Alyson; Moss, Timothy


Timothy P. Moss

Alyson Norman


© 2015 Norman and Moss. Background. Some individuals with visible differences have been found to experience psychosocial adjustment problems that can lead to social anxiety and isolation. Various models of psychosocial intervention have been used to reduce social anxiety and appearance related distress in this population. The objective of this review was to update a previous systematic review assessing the efficacy of psychosocial intervention programs for adults with visible differences. The original review (Bessell&Moss, 2007) identified 12 papers for inclusion. Methods. A search protocol identified studies from 13 electronic journal databases. Methods: Studies were selected in accordance with pre-set inclusion criteria and relevant data were extracted. Results. This update identified an additional four papers that met the inclusion criteria. Two papers provided very limited evidence for the efficacy of a combined cognitive-behavioural and social skills training approach. None of the papers provided sufficient evidence for the optimal duration, intensity or setting of psychosocial interventions for this population. Discussion. The review concluded that a greater number of Randomised Controlled Trials and experimental studies were required to increase the methodological validity of intervention studies.


Moss, T. P., Norman, A., & Moss, T. (2015). Psychosocial interventions for adults with visible differences: A systematic review. PeerJ, 2015(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date May 13, 2015
Journal PeerJ
Electronic ISSN 2167-8359
Publisher PeerJ
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2015
Issue 4
Keywords psychosocial, narrative synthesis, cognitive-behavioural therapy, social skills training, visible difference
Public URL
Publisher URL


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