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Psychosocial and Economic Implications of Trichotillomania: A Pilot Study in a South African Sample

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014

Abstract

Trichotillomania (TTM) is increasingly being recognized as a prevalent disorder. Nevertheless, few data are available regarding the effects of TTM on quality of life or the economic costs associated with this disorder. Two hundred members of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Association of South Africa were surveyed in this pilot study, using a detailed self-report questionnaire. Of the 75 respondents, 27 reported hair pulling as a symptom. Results from this investigation indicate that hair pulling may be associated with substantial morbidity, including significant effects on occupational, academic, social, and family functioning. Additional costs may be incurred by delays in seeking treatment and incorrect diagnoses. While further work in a larger sample of patients is clearly needed, psychoeducation of practitioners and the public on TTM may result in earlier referral, diagnosis, treatment, and greater cost savings in the long term.

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Feature Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998

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