University of Tasmania
Le_whole_thesis.pdf (2.28 MB)

Nail biting and related health issues : perspectives of health professionals and nail biters

Download (2.28 MB)
posted on 2023-05-27, 11:52 authored by Le, TT
Nail biting is a common oral habit, which is usually considered as developmental and harmless. In severe cases, from a health perspective, nail biting may lead to health problems such as skin infections or minor tissue damage, dental issues, bacterial infection, and alveolar destruction. However, in many societies, nail biting is frequently not taken seriously as a pathological condition, and this may increase the possibility of the emergence of serious health issues. In terms of causes and treatment measures for nail biting, there has been an extreme lack of research evidence, especially in the medical literature. In an attempt to cast more light on this under-investigated issue of nail biting, the present study was conducted with a special focus on its possible causes, associated health problems and treatment methods from the perspective of nail biters, parents of nail biting children and health professionals. The research endeavoured to seek answers to the following research questions. 1. What are the views of nail biters and parents of nail biting children in Tasmania, Australia on the possible causes, associated health issues, and treatment of nail biting? 2. What are the views of Australian health professionals on the possible causes, associated health issues, and treatment of nail biting? 3. What are implications and recommendations for Australian parents and health professionals in dealing with nail biting among children? A mixed methods design was utilised in the present study, with the use of questionnaires in the quantitative phase and semi-structured interviews in the qualitative phase. Regarding the questionnaires, data were collected from a total of 145 participants, including 65 health professionals and 80 nail biters or parents of nail biters. For the semi-structured interviews, the sample consisted of 23 past and current nail biters, and 14 health professionals.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 the Author

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager