INTRODUCTION: A significant number of adolescents suffer extensive and enduring difficulties such as social anxiety, body image dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and bullying as a result of conditions or injuries that affect their appearance (eg, craniofacial and skin conditions, treatment side effects and scarring). Evidence-based psychosocial interventions to meet their specific needs are currently lacking. YP Face IT, developed by the UK's Centre for Appearance Research in collaboration with clinical experts and young people, is an innovative online psychosocial intervention designed to offer this group immediate support, advice and coping strategies. It has been endorsed by young people, their parents/carers, GPs, clinical psychologists and health professionals working with those affected by appearance-related conditions.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Young people aged 12-17 with an appearance-altering condition/injury that self-identify as experiencing appearance-related distress, teasing or bullying will be invited to participate via GP practices and UK charities. Consenting participants will be randomised to the intervention (YP Face IT) or the treatment as usual (TAU) control group. Outcome measures will be completed by young people and their parents/carers at baseline, 13, 26 and 52 weeks. Primary outcome measures will be the Body Esteem Scale and the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents. Participants will complete other health-related outcome measures and resource use questionnaires for health economic analysis. We will assess recruitment rates, acceptability of the YP Face IT programme, adherence and retention to treatment, questionnaire completion rates, variation of TAU in Primary Care and the feasibility of GP practice staff supervising young people's use of YP Face IT.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This feasibility trial protocol (V.1, 3 March 2014), received a favourable ethical opinion from the NRES Committee South West-Frenchay (reference number 14/SW/0058). Findings will be disseminated through academic peer-reviewed publications, conferences and to participating GP practices and charities supporting those with conditions affecting appearance.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN40650639; Pre-results.