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Race/ethnicity and treatment outcome in a randomized controlled trial for Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
OBJECTIVE: Treatment outcome was compared among non-Hispanic White and racial/ethnic minority participants with trichotillomania (TTM), or hair-pulling disorder. METHOD: Symptom severity, quality of life, and TTM-related disability were compared in a behavior therapy trial with a stepped care approach: web-based self-help and then individual behavior therapy. The sample comprised 72% (n = 38) non-Hispanic White participants and 28% (n = 15) minority participants. RESULTS: The ethnic groups responded differently to treatment, with fewer minority participants showing improvement during web-based self-help. Response rates were equivalent between ethnic groups during the in-person behavior therapy. These results should be interpreted with caution because of the small sample size of minorities in the study and consequent inability to analyze results for each racial/ethnic group individually. CONCLUSIONS: Future studies should focus on the investigation of factors that may enable or hinder racial and ethnic minority participants to benefit from online and/or self-help behavior therapy for TTM.