A preliminary analysis of the phenomenology of skin-picking in Prader-Willi syndrome


Morgan JR, Storch EA, Woods DW, Bodzin D, Lewin AB, Murphy TK

Scientific Notation:

Child Psychiatry and Human Development 41:448-63, 2010.

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To examine the nature and psychosocial correlates of skin-picking behavior in youth with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Parents of 67 youth (aged 5-19 years) with PWS were recruited to complete an internet-based survey that included measures of: skin-picking behaviors, the automatic and/or focused nature of skin-picking, severity of skin-picking symptoms, anxiety symptoms, developmental functioning, symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and oppositionality, and quality of life. Results indicated that skin-picking was endorsed in 95.5% of youth. Direct associations of moderate strength were found between skin-picking severity and symptoms of anxiety, inattention, oppositionality, developmental functioning, and quality of life. Other descriptive data, such as areas picked, cutaneous factors, antecedents, and consequences related to skin-picking are reported. The prevalence and consequences associated with skin-picking in PWS indicate a greater need for clinician awareness of the behavior and interventions tailored to meet the needs of this population.