Cognitive and Behavioral Practice
Treatment of adolescent trichotillomania is understudied, and treatment providers are difficult to find. In this pilot study, we compared ACT-enhanced behavior therapy to a waitlist, with treatment delivered over Zoom, to 28 adolescents who met criteria for trichotillomania. This study partially occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. A detailed description of the treatment protocol is provided for ACT-enhanced behavior therapy adapted to a Zoom format for adolescents. Pretreatment assessments were completed over Zoom by an assessor unaware of study condition; pretreatment and posttreatment questionnaires were completed online. Results indicated that therapy was delivered with fidelity and competence over Zoom, with 100% session completion. Adolescents reported that pulling severity decreased significantly more in the treatment condition than waitlist. No differences were seen in other adolescent or parent-reported pulling severity or distress. However, significant medium to large within-condition effect sizes were observed in the treatment condition. Medium effect size changes were seen in the treatment group on a measure of trichotillomania-related psychological flexibility, and a small effect size was seen for psychological distress. Overall, pilot results provide preliminary support for ACT-enhanced behavior therapy, delivered over Zoom, for adolescent trichotillomania, indicating the need for a fully powered confirmatory efficacy trial.
Twohig, M. P., Petersen, J. M., Fruge, J., Ong, C. W., Barney, J. L., Krafft, J., Lee, E. B., & Levin, M. E. (2021). A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Online-Delivered ACT-Enhanced Behavior Therapy for Trichotillomania in Adolescents. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.