Our FACES package helps people come to terms with disfigurement

Patient Needs

Patients who have a medical condition or sustain injuries that cause a disfigurement can find rebuilding life in the community very challenging following discharge from hospital.

Recent research confirms that patients and their families can experience a range of problems at different times in their recovery and that many of their concerns relate to wanting more information, more support and advice, as well as the chance to meet other people or families with similar experiences.

Particular psycho-social difficulties, which patients can encounter include:

  • Functional problems that can inhibit or slow down return to work or school;
  • Confusion about surgical choices and decisions;
  • Grief and bereavement issues, which can be reflected in anger, depression etc;
  • Post-trauma, e.g. nightmares or flashbacks;
  • Social interaction problems, such as managing other people’s staring or curiosity;
  • Managing other people’s reactions, including name-calling, ostracism and discrimination;
  • Social support concerns around family members and/or partners;
  • Negative views of a future with disfigurement.

Changing Faces believes that the best long-term, psycho-social adjustments are made where appropriately resourced health and social care professionals can effectively address and bolster the four factors that are found to promote successful adjustment: Positive beliefs, quality social support, good information and effective social skills.

The FACES Package

This FACES package can enable individual patients and their families in:

  • Finding out: To gain realistic information about their condition and its treatment
  • Attitude-building: to develop a positive outlook and beliefs about the future
  • Counselling: to have access to counsellors trained in disfigurement issues
  • Exchanging: to share experiences with others in similar situations
  • Social skills: to learn the skills to handle the reactions of strangers, friends, etc.

We believe that individuals with disfiguring conditions (of all levels of severity), and their families, should routinely have local access to this package of support in self-help and/or professionally-delivered formats.

Psycho-social rehabilitation requires a multi-disciplinary approach including: Surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, receptionists, social workers, dieticians, hospital school teachers – all have a significant role to play.

If you are interested in finding out more about how your team can address the psycho-social needs of your patients and families, please click here.