Awareness enhancing and monitoring device plus habit reversal in the treatment of trichotillomania: An open feasibility trial

Joseph A. Himle, Deborah Bybee, Lisa A. O'Donnell, Addie Weaver, Sarah Vlnka, Daniel T. DeSena, Jessica M. Rimer

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT) is helpful for many persons suffering from trichotillomania. However successful habit reversal therapy requires awareness of hair pulling behaviors. Available methods to monitor hair pulling behaviors are less than ideal, particularly when sufferers are unaware of their pulling-related behaviors. This open feasibility trial included 20 persons with trichotillomania who were treated with nine weeks of HRT with experienced clinicians following a well-established HRT protocol. HRT was augmented with an electronic Awareness Enhancing and Monitoring Device (AEMD) designed to alert users of hand to head contact and to monitor the frequency of pulling-related behaviors. The AEMD included a neck unit and two wrist units, each equipped with vibrating alert functions. The results of the open trial revealed significant improvements in trichotillomania symptoms as measured by clinician and self-report rating scales. Most participants met study criteria for HRT completion and treatment effects were large. Participants reported that the AEMD, when operational, was effective in alerting participants to TTM-related behaviors. The monitoring function of the AEMD did not operate as designed. Subjective feedback focused on the AEMD concept was positive but AEMD reliability problems and complaints about the wearability the units were common. Recommendations for AEMD design modifications were included.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages14-20
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Profile

Trichotillomania
Habits
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics
Equipment Design
Wrist
Self Report
Neck
Hand
Head

Keywords

  • Awareness
  • Device
  • Habit reversal therapy
  • Measurement
  • Trichotillomania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Awareness enhancing and monitoring device plus habit reversal in the treatment of trichotillomania : An open feasibility trial. / Himle, Joseph A.; Bybee, Deborah; O'Donnell, Lisa A.; Weaver, Addie; Vlnka, Sarah; DeSena, Daniel T.; Rimer, Jessica M.

In: Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Vol. 16, 01.01.2018, p. 14-20.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Himle, Joseph A. ; Bybee, Deborah ; O'Donnell, Lisa A. ; Weaver, Addie ; Vlnka, Sarah ; DeSena, Daniel T. ; Rimer, Jessica M./ Awareness enhancing and monitoring device plus habit reversal in the treatment of trichotillomania : An open feasibility trial. In: Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. 2018 ; Vol. 16. pp. 14-20
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