Clinical Characteristics of Children and Adolescents with a Primary Tic Disorder
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- Specht, M.W., Woods, D.W., Piacentini, J. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2011) 23: 15. doi:10.1007/s10882-010-9223-z
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The clinical characteristics and rates of co-occurring psychiatric conditions in youth seeking treatment for a chronic tic disorder (CTD) were examined. Children and adolescents (N = 126) with a primary CTD diagnosis were recruited for a randomized controlled treatment trial. An expert clinician established diagnostic status via semi-structured interview. Participants were male (78.6%), Caucasians (84.9%), mean age 11.7 years (SD = 2.3) with moderate-to-severe tics who met criteria for Tourette’s disorder (93.7%). Common co-occurring conditions included attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 26%), social phobia (21%), generalized anxiety disorder (20%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; 19%). Motor and vocal tics with greater intensity, complexity, and interference were associated with increased impairment. Youth with a CTD seeking treatment for tics should be evaluated for non-OCD anxiety disorders in addition to ADHD and OCD. Despite the presence of co-occurring conditions, children with more forceful, complex, and/or directly interfering tics may seek treatment to reduce tic severity.