This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Original Research

Group Treatment for Trichotillomania: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Versus Supportive Therapy

Edson Luiz Toledo, MSc; Enilde De Togni Muniz, Psy; Antônio Marcelo Cabrita Brito, MD, MSc; Cristiano Nabuco de Abreu, PhD; and Hermano Tavares, MD, PhD

Published: September 16, 2014

Article Abstract

Objective: Trichotillomania is a psychiatric condition characterized by the chronic pulling and plucking of one’s own hair. Cognitive-behavioral therapy shows promise as a treatment for trichotillomania and might be preferable to pharmacotherapy. However, there have been no randomized, controlled studies of the efficacy of group cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Method: We evaluated 44 subjects, recruited from April 2009 to May 2010, all of whom met DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of trichotillomania. Subjects were randomized to receive 22 sessions of either group cognitive-behavioral therapy or group supportive therapy (control). Treatment evaluation was non-blind and used self-report scales. The primary outcome measure was the improvement of hair-plucking behavior as assessed by the Massachusetts General Hospital Hairpulling Scale. Secondary measures included scores on the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report.

Results: Both groups showed significant posttreatment improvement in the scores from the Massachusetts General Hospital Hairpulling Scale (F = 23.762, P < .001) and the Beck Depression Inventory (F = 6.579, P = .003). The decrease in hair-plucking behavior over time was significantly greater in the study group than in the control group (F = 3.545, P < .038). There were no significant differences between the pretreatment and posttreatment time points or between the groups in the scores from the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report.

Conclusions: We conclude that group cognitive-behavioral therapy is a valid treatment for trichotillomania. This treatment model should be further revised and expanded to address comorbidities such as anxiety and social maladjustment.

Trial Registration: identifier: NCT01968343

Volume: 76

Quick Links:

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article


Buy this Article as a PDF