Quality of life and clinical severity in pathological skin picking and trichotillomania

Brian L. Odlaug, Suck Won Kim, Jon E. Grant

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56 Scopus citations


Pathological skin picking (PSP) and trichotillomania (TTM) are disorders characterized by distress and impaired functioning. This study sought to compare quality of life for individuals with PSP or TTM. PSP or TTM subjects completed the quality of life inventory and valid and reliable measures of clinical severity. Analyses included group comparisons of PSP, TTM and healthy controls, and within-group comparisons. 59 subjects with PSP (mean age 33.4 ± 12.8; 88.1% female), 70 with TTM (mean age 34.8 ± 12.0; 88.6% female), and 25 healthy controls (mean age 31.3 ± 10.1; 80% female) were included. PSP subjects reported more psychosocial impairment compared to TTM subjects (p=0.013). Both PSP and TTM subjects had lower quality of life scores compared to healthy controls. Quality of life was not associated with symptom severity. Larger studies should examine further the impact PSP and TTM have on quality of life as well as the role quality of life itself plays in the severity and duration of illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a Career Development Award by the National Institute of Mental Health ( JEG – K23 MH069754-01A1 ) and an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( 1RC1DA028279-01 ) (Dr. Grant). Dr. Grant has received research grants from Forest Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline. Mr. Odlaug has received honoraria from Oxford University Press and Current Medicine Group, LLC.


  • Impulse control
  • Pathological skin picking
  • Quality of life
  • Trichotillomania


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