College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Trichotillomania: A Challenge to Research and Practice.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2000

Keywords

Differential Diagnosis, Incidence, Psychological Models, Psychotherapy, Trichotillomania

Publication Title

Clinical Psychology Review

ISSN

0272-7358

Volume

20

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

This review explores several aspects of trichotillomania relevant to clinical theory and practice. It is concluded that research outlining the phenomenology and patterns of comorbidity of trichotillomania have been advanced significantly in recent years. However, no current diagnostic category appropriately classifies trichotillomania. Research with nonclinical populations suggests that trichotillomania is more common than previously believed and that additional epidemiological research is warranted. Continued elaboration of existing etiological models incorporating varying theoretical perspectives is also encouraged. Assessment of trichotillomania could also be improved by the continued development of reliable and valid standardized measures. This article reviews both pharmacological and psychological treatments for trichotillomania, with an emphasis on habit-reversal training. Though some interventions appear effective in the short-term, reported relapse rates are high and future research on treatment for trichotillomania should focus on improving long-term outcomes. It is clear that despite a recent flux of research centering on trichotillomania, significant challenges for understanding and treating this psychological disorder still exist for researchers and clinicians. Based on this review of the literature, and on our clinical experience with trichotillomania, we propose directions for future research with this underserved psychiatric group.

DOI

10.1016/S0272-7358(98)00083-X

Peer Reviewed

Find in your library

Share

COinS