Document Detail

Severe morbid onychophagia: the classification as self-mutilation and a proposed model of maintenance.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9711368     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review is to make a distinction between a mild and a severe form of onychophagia (nailbiting) that has not been adequately recognised in clinical research. Furthermore, the aim is to emphasise the need for greater understanding of the motivation for such self-injury as occurs in the severe form. The purpose of making the distinction is to evaluate whether a label of self-mutilation can be applied to the severe form. If this is the case, the tension-reduction model of self-mutilation can be proposed as the mechanism which may maintain the behaviour in the face of serious social and physical consequences. METHOD: Examination was made of the literature relating to onychophagia and to self-mutilation. Treatment studies of onychophagia were examined to evaluate the mechanisms by which the behaviour may be maintained. RESULTS: Considering the self-mutilative nature of the severe form and the common theme of tension reduction in the literature on onychophagia, application of the tension-reduction model of self-mutilation is warranted. CONCLUSION: There is a need for empirical research as to the tension-reducing nature of severe onychophagia.
J H Wells; J Haines; C L Williams
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry     Volume:  32     ISSN:  0004-8674     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust N Z J Psychiatry     Publication Date:  1998 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-11-23     Completed Date:  1998-11-23     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0111052     Medline TA:  Aust N Z J Psychiatry     Country:  AUSTRALIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  534-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Anxiety / complications
Behavior Therapy / methods,  standards
Compulsive Behavior / etiology,  psychology*,  therapy
Cosmetic Techniques / classification,  psychology
Nail Biting* / adverse effects,  psychology,  therapy
Reinforcement (Psychology)*
Self Mutilation* / classification,  ethnology,  etiology,  psychology,  therapy
Severity of Illness Index
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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