Evaluating the effectiveness and acceptability of information and therapy guides for improving the psychosocial well-being of people with facial palsy.
Hotton M., Johnson D., Kilcoyne S., Dalton L.
OBJECTIVES: Facial palsy (FP) can have a negative impact on an individual's psychological and social well-being, irrespective of esthetic severity. There is a lack of psychological interventions tailored specifically for this population and individuals with FP report difficulties accessing specialist psychological treatment. This paper describes a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of information and therapy guides for this population. DESIGN: Quasi-experimental, repeated measures design. METHODS: Six separate information and therapy guides were designed, drawing on cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and social skills training approaches. These were tested by 132 participants with FP, over a 4-to-6-week period. Participants completed self-report measures assessing psychological well-being, social function, and appearance-related distress before and after the testing period, as well as provided feedback on the perceived effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of the intervention. RESULTS: After completing an information and therapy guide, participants reported significant improvements in psychological well-being and social function, as well as improvements in appearance-related distress. Ninety percent of participants reported having found it helpful to complete a guide, while 79.7% reported feeling more able to cope with FP and 95.3% agreed that the guide had been easy to understand and use. CONCLUSIONS: Self-guided information and therapy guides are an acceptable and effective intervention for improving the psychosocial well-being of people with FP. They provide a low-intensity, universal, and cost-effective option for supporting the psychological needs of this population. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03943953.