Quality of Life and Functional Impairment in Individuals with Trichotillomania

Keuthen, Nancy I.; Dougherty, Darin D.; Franklin, Martin E.; Bohne, Antje; Loh, Rebecca; Levy, Joanne; Beals, Amanda; Matthews, Melanie; Deckersbach, Thilo
May 2004
Journal of Applied Research;Spring2004, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p186
Academic Journal
Background: Few studies have addressed quality of life (QOL) and functional impairment in trichotillomania (TTM). This study empirically documented QOL and its predictors in both non-clinical and clinical TTM samples using generic measures of QOL. Methods: Two TTM samples (conference attendees and treatment outcome study participants) completed standardized QOL measures, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) or the Quality of Life, Enjoyment, and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q). Hair pulling severity was assessed with the Massachusetts General Hospital HairpuUing Scale (MGHHPS) and the Psychiatric Institute Trichotillomania Scale (PITS). Depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Z-scores compared QOL data for our TTM cohorts with published data for normal control (NC) groups. Regression analyses identified predictors of QOL using illness duration and depression, anxiety, and hair pulling scale scores. Results: Generic QOL measures failed to reveal significant differences between the TTM and NC groups. BDI scores were the strongest predictor of OOL when using the MGHHPS to assess TTM severity. The PITS was a stronger predictor of QQL than the BDI or BAI though the latter scales independently predicted several QQL subscale scores. Couclusions: Hair pulling severity, depression, and anxiety independently contribute to QQL in TTM sufferers. The lack of documented QQL differences between TTM and NC samples strongly suggests a need for TTM-specific QOL measures.


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