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July 1994

Psychological Characteristics of Alopecia Patients

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychology University of Massachusetts at Boston Boston, MA 02125

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(7):907-908. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690070101016

IN A CULTURE seemingly obsessed with the appearance of the human body, large numbers of people flock to the medical profession in search of remedies for a troubled body image. There is already a long tradition of psychological research examining this patient population and the effects of treatments they receive.1,2 In view of the fact that appearance-altering medical and surgical procedures usually lack direct effects on physical health, research examining quality of life and psychological functioning, as well as posttreatment psychosocial change, among ''aesthetic'' patients is important to solidify the rationale and improve the effectiveness of this new province of medical practice. The article by Maffei et al3 contributes to this line of research with some intriguing information on the psychological status of a sample of patients, both male and female, who sought a medical consultation for hair loss.

As Maffei et al3 prudently note, the high

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