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Keywords:

  • trichotillomania;
  • women;
  • treatment;
  • pharmacotherapy;
  • psychotherapy;
  • behavioral modification;
  • Internet;
  • TLC

Abstract

Trichotillomania (TTM) is an enigmatic disease characterized by an overwhelming compulsion to pull out one's hair, most notably scalp hair, but also eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair from the extremity, axillary, and pubic areas. Current estimates are that clinically significant hair pulling is manifested by 3.4% of all women during their lifetimes. The overall purpose of our study was to examine the efficacy of a wide variety of treatments as perceived by the women (N=44) who received them. The data were subjected to content analysis and are presented in a quantified manner. Common forms of treatments, including pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and behavior modification, were judged by the respondents to be relatively ineffective. Two forms of treatment were found to be effective by a high percentage of the women who employed them: Internet TTM groups and TTM groups associated with a national center. It is important for health care providers to be aware of these treatments, which have not been previously discussed in the literature. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 25:135–144, 2002