Women who present with female pattern hair loss tend to underestimate the severity of their hair loss

S Biondo, D Goble, R Sinclair
British Journal of Dermatology 2004, 150 (4): 750-2

BACKGROUND: Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is the preferred term for androgenetic alopecia in women. FPHL can be a source of considerable distress for affected women. Our hypothesis was that women with FPHL who seek treatment would rate their condition as more severe than would their treating doctors.

OBJECTIVES: To identify discrepancies between the severity ratings of the women and their clinicians.

METHODS: Participants were 30 women receiving treatment for biopsy-proven FPHL and 44 women on a waiting list to receive treatment for FPHL. Each woman completed a self-report photographic measure of severity of hair loss, specifically developed for the current study.

RESULTS: Although no difference was found between the severity ratings of women receiving treatment and their clinicians, it was found that women in the waiting list group underestimated the severity of their hair loss compared with their clinicians' ratings.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that FPHL-affected women who seek treatment for FPHL do not overestimate the severity of the hair loss; in fact, they tend to underestimate. The present findings have implications for the treatment of FPHL.

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