Does comorbidity matter in body-focused repetitive behavior disorders?

Jon E. Grant, Eric W. Leppink, Jerry Tsai, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Sarah A. Redden, Erin E. Curley, Brian L. Odlaug, Nancy J. Keuthen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Trichotillomania (TTM) and skin-picking disorder (SPD) have been characterized as body-focused repetitive behavior disorders (BFRBs). Because BFRBs frequently co-occur, we sought to discover the similarities and differences for individuals having both TTM and SPD as opposed to 1 of these disorders.

METHODS: Participants with primary TTM (N = 421) were evaluated regarding the comorbidity of SPD, and participants with primary SPD (N = 124) were evaluated regarding the comorbidity of TTM. The effects of comorbidity overlap on demographic and clinical measures were evaluated.

RESULTS: Of the 421 participants with primary TTM, 61 (14.5%) had co-occurring SPD. Of 124 participants with primary SPD, 21 (16.9%) had comorbid TTM. Participants with primary TTM and comorbid SPD had significantly more severe trichotillomania symptoms and were more likely to have major depressive disorder than those with TTM alone. Participants with primary SPD and comorbid TTM reported significantly more severe skin-picking symptoms than those who had only SPD.

CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with co-occurring TTM and SPD may have more problematic symptoms with the primary repetitive behavior. Hair pullers with comorbid SPD were more likely to have comorbid depression. Evaluating patients for multiple BFRBs may be important to assess the severity of symptoms and may have treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of clinical psychiatry : official journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

This record is sourced from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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