Hypnosis and Alopecia Areata: Long-term Beneficial Effects on Psychological Well-being
Ria Willemsen, Patrick Haentjens, Diane Roseeuw, Johan Vanderlinden
Although there often exists important psychological comorbidity in patients with alopecia areata, few studies have investigated the role of psychotherapeutic interventions. The aim of this prospective cohort study was to investigate the long-term evolution of psychological symptoms in twenty-one patients with refractory alopecia areata.
Patients received 10 individual sessions of hypnosis during an approximate 6-month period. Before treatment, patients presented a pathological psychological comorbidity. After treatment, a significant amelioration of alexithymia, anxiety, depression and mental well-being was observed. These improvements were maintained up to 6 months after the end of treatment. Important limitations of this study include the recruitment of highly motivated patients and a non-controlled study design. In summary, hypnotherapy may be effective for significantly improving and maintaining psychological well-being and quality of life in patients with refractory alopecia areata.