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Behav Res Ther. 2011 Jan;49(1):11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

The effects of brief cognitive-behaviour therapy for pathological skin picking: A randomized comparison to wait-list control.

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  • 1Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. k.schuck@bsi.ru.nl


Thirty-four college students suffering from pathological skin picking were randomly assigned to a four-session cognitive-behavioural treatment (n=17) or a waiting-list condition (n=17). Severity of skin picking, psycho-social impact of skin picking, strength of skin-picking-related dysfunctional cognitions, and severity of skin injury were measured at pre-, post-, and two-months follow-up assessment. Participants in the treatment condition showed a significantly larger reduction on all measured variables in comparison to the waiting-list condition. The obtained effect sizes for the outcome measures were large, ranging from .90 to 1.89. Treatment effects were maintained at follow-up. In conclusion, cognitive-behavioural therapy, even in brief form, constitutes an adequate treatment option for pathological skin-picking behaviour.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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