When looks get in the way: optimising patient outcomes  through the training of health care professionals

Implementation Plans

Klaipėda University 

The University has prepared a 7.5 credit component "Body image and Public Health" course that will include all 6 When Looks modules, including activities and an examination. This component will consist of 24 hours of theory, 15 hours of practice, and 33 hours of independent work. The component will be taught to full-time and part-time students of Public Health and Public Health & Nutrition. We will also include materials within a course entitled "Beauty therapy and image formation"


Kocaeli University 

When Looks is in the process of being accredited as a course. In the meantime we can provide the content including objectives and exercises as a training module for undergraduate medical students, especially during the internship period. It may also be an educational module for postgraduate psychiatry residents working in the field of consultation & liaison psychiatry. Preliminary meetings with the hospital managers are affirmative and the course will be delivered to health care professionals, such as caregivers/nurse trainees in 2017-2018. Lastly, the selected course materials plus the high-level educational content of the modules (e.g., specific therapy models like ACT for appearance-related distress) has proved attractive to Masters and Doctorate students; therefore, some academics may focus on visible difference in the near future.


Kristianstad University 

The material will initially be incorporated into existing education/courses within the field of nursing and public health. Secondly, the material will be used when applying for permission to start a 7.5 accredited course named“Appearance, body image and health”. Thirdly, the material will be available for tailored educational packages, for instance in the health care sector. 


University West of England 

Materials will be incorporated into existing Master’s and Doctoral courses and Continuing Professional Development courses, with plans for an accredited course in the future.


University of Florence 

We plan to include When Looks as an official course organized by the Unity of Maxillo-Facial Surgery at the University of Florence Hospital of Careggi. The course will be open to surgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, social operators and will be implemented inside the hospital ofCareggi. The course will be also be open to other professionals not belonging to the Hospital. Parts of When Looks will also be introduced into the official course of “General Psychopathology” of which prof. Davide Dettore is tutor.



Final meeting in Kristianstad, Sweden 

The final project meeting took place in Kristianstad, Sweden, July 2016. The partnership discussed about the final event in every partner country and how to sustain the project for the future. All partners agreed that this project has been very good, even though somewhat demanding at times.




Dissemination / Multiplier Events

Each partner undertook a multiplier event, showcasing the course to a mix of health professionals in their individual countries.


The event took place on Saturday 18th of June 2016 at the University of Florence with 30 participants (psychologists, medical doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists). The university partners introduced the project as a whole, describing the opening research (survey and focus group) and its main findings and presenting a summary of the course modules with their objectives, materials and resources. Participants received flyers and a poster with the main topics of the project.


This event was organised by Kocaeli University Medical Faculty Psychiatry Department and took place on Kocaeli Directorate of Care, Rehabilitation and Family Counseling Center conference hall with 49 participants on 6th of June 2016. The participants were a variety of psychologists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, social workers and other caregivers of the facility. The project material and the website were introduced and discussions about the course material were made with the participants.


On 20th of June a multiplier event took place in Klaipeda University. Participants were 35 health specialists from various fields: Public Health bureau specialists, physicians, college teachers, health faculty students, non-governmental organization representatives. Project partners conducted an interactive discussion with the audience.


Kristianstad University hosted 3 multiplier events reaching health professionals and students. Pia Petersson informed 20 students at Makerere University in Uganda about the project and the material, in April 2016. Pia was also in charge of a multiplier event for 21 health professionals at Kristianstad University May 16th 2016. Finally Åsa Bringsén arranged a multiplier event for 18 nursing students as well as 19 health professionals within the framework of a course in Public Health at the University 16/5 2016. At this occasion some of the course material was used during a 3 hour lecture about appearance, body image and health.


The event took place at the Appearance Matters 7 international conference 28th June 2016. A mix of 32 health professionals and academics were invited to view the course and engage in discussions about the material and how it could be implemented into their universities/workplace.


In all cases the events were interactive with many discussions about the project content, its development, their personal professional experiences of the subject and how to share their best practice. The content of the project was a novel experience for most participants and although different points of view were obvious between mental health and medical professionals, many participants were very interested in the project and in attending future courses.



Dissemination and multiplier events hosted by Kristianstad University

Information about the project and the course material has now been presented at multiplier events hosted by Kristianstad University at three occasions. The aim has been to reach health professionals as well as students within the health field. Pia Petersson informed students at Makerere University in Uganda, when she was there during a three weeks exchange program in April 2016. Twenty students got information about the project in general, the course material in particular as well as the link to the projects webpage where the participants can access the material when it has been finalized.

Pia were also in charge of a multiplier event for health professionals at Kristianstad University May 16th 2016. Eleven health professionals received the same information as the student in Uganda. 

Finally Åsa Bringsén arranged a multiplier event for nursing students (18 participants) as well as health professionals (19 participants) within the framework of a course in Public Health at the University 16/5 2016. Besides information about the project and the course material in general, some of the course material was used during a three hour lecture about appearance, body image and health.




When Looks… project in the News

The When looks project have been highlighted in Medical Xpress, please click on the links to read more: 



New body image training for healthcare professionals

The Independent Nurse wrote about the When looks project, please follow this link to read the article: 




New training could help health workers support millions across Europe with body image fears

The University of the West of England highlighted the When Looks project via a news release; please follow this link to read the article. 



Module development 

In the second phase of this 2-year project, the partners developed the content for 6 modules, which emanated from the framework of the project plan. Partners were responsible for their own modules and provided feedback on each other’s contributions.


Module 1: Introduction to the psychology of body image and disfigurement. Co-ordinator: Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, UK

Module 2: Risk factors for body image dissatisfaction and its psychological and health impact across the lifespan. Co-ordinator: Klaipeda University, Lithuania

Module 3: The psychosocial impact of disfigurement for the individual and family, with reference to protective and risk factors for adjustment. Co-ordinator: Kocaeli Universitesi, Turkey.

Module 4: Promoting positive body image and body confidence across the lifespan Co-ordinator: Universita Degli Studi, Firenze, Italy.

Module 5: Assessing and meeting the needs of people with disfigurement (visible difference)

Co-ordinator: Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, UK

Module 6: Professional Issues: Health Promotion from a Body Image perspective in the Health Care sector. Co-ordinator: Kristianstadt University, Sweden.


Each module (including handbook and lecture material) was presented and discussed with the National Strategic Advisory groups of each partner country co-ordinating their module. Partners responded to feedback and in a final stage presented their revised modules to the UK partners who provided final expert feedback.

Kristianstad University partner was responsible for combining the module specific information into one combined handbook for the whole course. In the final step of the development process each partner translated all teaching and handbook materials into their own language. 


Erasmus + Case Study

The When Looks… project was selected to be a case study by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency.   Please follow this link in order to read the case study. 






Meeting in the Netherlands 

The fourth meeting for When Looks… took place at ECO, The Hague in the Netherlands, 3rd of March 2016.  The main focus of the meeting was to feedback on the progress with the developed modules were proceeding. It was acknowledged that there are challenges to create such a complex course, especially to the differences among the institutions, both cultural and pedagogical.   Via fruitful discussion a plan was agreed upon in how to move the project forward.



Appearance Matters 7 Conference 

You are invited to attend Appearance Matters 7, the 7th international multi-disciplinary conference hosted by the Centre for Appearance Research. The conference highlights research and good practice around body image and appearance. It is a great opportunity to find out about ground breaking research from world-leading appearance researchers. If you haven't already, please sign up to the Centre for Appearance Research mailing list to receive a monthly e-newsletter outlining conference updates and news.

Appearance Matters: The Podcast explores the world of appearance; presenting new insights and advances in research, as well as perspectives from researchers, clinicians, charities and organisations, and individuals affected by appearance-related concerns.  You can access the podcast via iTunes or SoundCloud. Please subscribe and leave a review! (Please note that Soundcloud does not support IE9. Users may wish to try Chrome, Firefox, or a recent version of IE).





Impact of visible differences on intimacy: the role of health professionals

Nick Sharratt is a member of the team at the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE and is carrying out research towards his PhD. Nick is looking at the impact of appearance altering conditions and visible differences upon intimacy and intimate relationships. Nick has interviewed a number of people with a variety of visible differences and it currently analysing this data. He hopes to use the findings to develop a measurement scale so that people with a visible difference who are struggling with this area of their life may be readily identified. Nick has written a short article for the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing where he discusses visible difference and intimacy within the context of a healthcare setting and patient interaction with healthcare professionals. This can be accessed here: http://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/10.12968/joan.2015.4.9.449

In the future we hope to be able to tell you a little about Nick’s own research findings.

Nick Sharratt 


Optimising appearance-related psychosocial care in European settings

Members of the UWE team wrote an article about optimising appearance-related psychosocial care in European settings published in the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing. The article describes two European projects – Face Value and When Looks…

The article can be downloaded below and pleast visit the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing website.            


Gaskin E, Persson M, Williamson H. Optimising appearance-related psychosocial care in European settings. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing. 2015;4(8):394-6.


Swedish conference about collaborations for health

The project was presented from a societal perspective by Åsa Bringsén, at the conference SALUS 2015, Collaborations for health (http://www.hv.se/sv/evenemang-och-konferenser/salus-2015).


3rd project meeting – Università di Firenze, Italy

The third meeting for When Looks took place at Università di Firenze, Italy, Wednesday 30th of September and Thursday 1st of October 2015.  The main focus of the meeting was for all partners to present their developed modules in accordance to the objectives of the project.  All partners provided feedback and suggested modifications to the 1st version of the developed material.  This resulted in long, but fruitful discussions during the two days. In the end a concrete plan was generated with specific deadlines and outcomes.


Interesting reading

Read the reports and other material generated so far in the project on our resource page


Posters and Flyers

The Posters and Flyers are now available to be downloaded from the resource page on this website.





Kocaeli Universitesi

The second meeting for When Looks… took place at Kocaeli Universitesi, Turkey on the Wednesday 25th of March, 2015. The partners presented the findings from their surveys as well as their national reports.   It was agreed upon that all partners had achieved the objectives of the first intellectual output and all the surveys would be complied into one data set as well. The reports are available under resources on the project’s website.

The partners also finalised the strategy for developing the design and structure for the 6 proposed modules. Deadlines for the 1st and 2nd draft version of the modules were agreed upon as well as the responsibility for each module.




Kickoff meeting

The When looks... kickoff meeting was held in Klaipeda, Lithuania on the 2nd of October2014. The partners introduced themselves and gave a brief background about themselves and their organization. Martin Persson and Heidi Williamson presented an overall project overview with the specific objectives together with key deliverables. In a collaborative way, the partners agreed upon the specific objectives that need to be achieved until the next meeting. Then an overview of the management and quality assurance aspects, which included the following:  a) Cooperation agreement b) Time reporting c) Financial rules. The meeting ended with a general discussions about the project and deciding the dates and venues for the next two meetings.