Researchers determined a statistically significant improvement to patient quality of life post-transplant.
Men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) experienced significant improvements to their self-esteem and overall quality of life following hair transplantation procedures, according to results from a recent study.1
While AGA is also prevalent in females, researchers estimate that it is more common among males. In men 40 years of age and older, AGA frequency may reach upwards of 50%, according to the study.
“Currently, available information suggests that AGA may be associated with a significant impact on an individual's quality of life, often including extremely severe psychological distresses,” study authors wrote. “Adverse effects which were reported include weakened self-esteem, appearance unattractiveness, depression, emotional problems, and anxiety. Besides, preoccupation with hair loss, and psychosocial separations was reported. These hair loss-associated unfavorable effects provide robust motivation for individuals with AGA to find effective treatment for this condition.”
Researchers sought to determine whether hair transplantation procedures would be effective in improving overall patient quality of life and adverse emotional and psychosocial effects of AGA.
Study participants (n=35) were selected from the Jordan Skin and Hair Clinic in Tehran, Iran. All participants were males between the ages of 25 and 70 with an AGA diagnosis of grade 3 or 4. Participants were excluded if they were on additional medications at the time of treatment. Additionally, researchers excluded prospective participants with mental issues. However, the study did not elaborate on what qualified as mental issues, or why these patients were not allowed to participate.
Before undergoing a hair transplantation procedure, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating their quality of life and self-esteem, using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Participants also completed the same questionnaires at 1-year post-transplantation.
On average, participants had a DLQI score of 6.31 with a standard deviation of 3.76 prior to transplantation and a RSES score of 15.65 with a standard deviation of 4.87.
However, 1 year after the transplantation procedure, participants had an average DLQI score of 8.48 with a standard deviation of 2.64 and an average RSES score of 21 with a standard deviation of 5.01.
In addition to measuring both DLQI and RSES scores, researchers investigated the effects of other demographic variables on self-esteem. These included marital status and education level. No statistically significant differences between marital status and self-esteem and quality of life with AGA was observed; however, researchers observed a statistically significant correlation between participants’ education level and self-esteem.
Researchers noted that potential study limitations may include a limited sample size, including the omission of females from the sample cohort. Additionally, the study lacked a vehicle-control group, though researchers indicated they believed the inclusion of participants without AGA was unnecessary in this case.
“This study found postoperative psychological aspects of AGA patients significantly improve than preoperative,” study authors wrote. “Our results show that there is a statistically significant difference between the self-esteem and quality of life of AGA patients before and after hair restoration surgery.”