Injuries sustained during military conflict can have a significant impact on appearance. Living with an altered appearance can be physically and psychologically difficult. Whilst some people manage well, others struggle and report significant social and psychological problems including anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and difficulties around employment and intimate relationships. Some people use unhelpful strategies and behaviours in their attempts to cope. However, research has not specifically examined the experiences of people whose disfigurements are due to armed conflict, and specifically combat.
The team has been undertaking interviews and surveys with veterans serving military personnel to build an understanding of how their experiences and support needs are similar or different to other people with visible differences. They will use the findings of their interviews and surveys to develop recommendations that will assist the development of support processes and interventions to meet the specific needs of military personnel and their families.