Self-help habit replacement intervention may help body-focused repetitive behaviors
The self-help intervention called “habit replacement” has shown promise in treating body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), such as skin picking, nail-biting, and trichotillomania, according to a study.
The study conducted a randomized clinical trial with a final sample of 268 participants who were randomized into 2 groups: the self-help intervention (habit replacement) group and the wait-list control group.
The self-help intervention group showed significant improvements in the primary outcome measure, the Generic BFRB Scale-45 (GBS-45), compared to the wait-list control group.
The habit replacement intervention also demonstrated positive effects on other measures, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and quality of life. The habit replacement technique appeared to be particularly effective for individuals with nail biting habits.
The authors note that further research and larger studies would be needed to validate these findings and better understand the potential benefits and limitations of the habit replacement approach for BFRBs treatment.
Moritz S, Penney D, Missmann F, et al. Self-Help Habit Replacement in Individuals With Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2023;doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.2167. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37466986.