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Recent Survey Study Results

When you participate in a survey that comes to you in a NAAF email, what happens to your responses?

For most surveys, the academic researchers conducting the study will analyze the responses received and publish the results. Lara Drake, from the Mostaghimi Lab at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, shared highlights from two recent surveys.

One study investigated preferences among patients with alopecia areata (AA) in making treatment decisions with their dermatologist. The study found that individuals with AA prefer to make treatment decisions together with their dermatologist using a model called “shared decision-making,” which involves collaboration between the patient and their doctor to come up with a treatment plan. When these treatment decisions were made together, survey respondents reported less regret about their choices. The published abstract is available here.

In another survey study, the research group investigated the rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among patients with AA. PTSD is a psychological diagnosis that may be caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The study found that of the 1,449 individuals with AA surveyed, one in three had signs and symptoms of PTSD related to their hair loss. These results add to the growing research literature about the psychological effects of AA and highlight that the impact of AA can continue even after patients have achieved treatment success. The findings also have implications for dermatologists, who can better support their AA patients by informing them of the possibility of having PTSD and making sure to help patients seek mental health care for support. These survey results were presented at the Society for Investigative Dermatology annual meeting in May 2023.