Does your skin or hair condition affect how you feel about your body?
If the answer is yes, you may be interested in helping psychologists at the University of Sheffield test whether a one-week online writing intervention could improve body image in individuals living with a dermatological condition.
Who can take part?
You are eligible to take part if you:
- Have a condition that affects your skin (e.g. acne, eczema, alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo, rosacea,
dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), hyperhidrosis, hirsutism, herpes,
neurofibromatosis, nail conditions).
- Consider this condition to negatively impact your body image.
- Are age 18 or over.
- Are willing to complete three online writing tasks over one week.
- Have sufficient English to complete the questionnaires and writing tasks.
If possible, please complete the study on a laptop or computer, as the writing tasks load better.
Why should I take part?
- We know that living with a dermatological condition can be difficult. Yet, there is a lack of
research testing self-help interventions targeting body image.
- By taking part you will help the researchers to better understand ways to improve body image in
adults living with a range of skin conditions.
- You will receive access to the intervention (either towards the start or end of the study*).
- You will be offered entry into a prize draw for a £50 voucher of your choice.
What will it involve?
You will be asked to complete three 15-minute online writing tasks over the course of a week. You will also be asked to complete several questionnaires before the first writing task, after the final writing task and one month later. As this is a Randomised Controlled Trial, you will be randomly assigned to either: (1) the writing intervention or (2) a control writing task.
*If you are allocated to the control tasks, you will be able to download the intervention materials at the end of the study.
- Day 1 (approximately 30 minutes): You will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires about yourself, your skin, and your body image. You will then be randomly assigned to either (1) the writing intervention or (2) a control writing task. You will be asked to spend 15 minutes on your writing task.
- Day 3 (approximately 15 minutes): You will then be asked to complete another writing task.
- Day 5 (approximately 25 minutes): You will be asked to complete a final 15 minute writing task. You will then be asked to fill out the questionnaires about your body image again and provide feedback on the intervention.
- One month (approximately 15 minutes): You will then be asked to complete the body image questionnaires once more. All participants completing the study will be offered the option to download the intervention.
Your answers and writing will be anonymous, and the study has received ethical approval from the University of Sheffield.
Are there any benefits from taking part in the study?
Participants completing the study will be offered entry into a prize draw for a £50 voucher. Initial research suggests that the writing intervention we are testing can improve body image. However, it has not yet been tested in people with skin conditions. We hope that this research will help us better understand ways to improve body image in adults living with a range of visible skin conditions.
Are there any risks from taking part in the study?
There are no known risks to participating in this study. For some people, completing questionnaires and working through the writing exercises could bring up difficult feelings. The researchers are not able to provide psychological support to participants, so it is recommended that you contact your GP if you are concerned about your psychological well-being.
Will the study be confidential?
Yes. All the information that’s collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential and will only be accessible to members of the research team. Your data will be anonymised and you will not be identifiable in any reports or publications.
Who has reviewed the study?
This project has been ethically approved via the University of Sheffield’s Ethics Review Procedure, as administered by the Psychology department.
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If you need guidance or support about managing a skin disorder, contact the ISF Ask-a- Nurse Helpline for free assistance and information.