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Group comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics contribution to broader cognitive and emotion regulation in children

Abstract

There is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of behavioral techniques in managing tics in youth with Tourette syndrome and tics disorders (TDs). One such intervention is Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), which focuses on reducing tic severity by training control and regulation. In view of the regulation deficits characteristic to TDs, in the current study, we aimed to explore the contribution of CBIT beyond tic control, to a wider expression of regulation abilities—cognitive inhibition and emotion regulation. A total of 55 participants with TDs, aged 8–15, who were randomly assigned to group-CBIT or group-Educational Intervention for Tics, were compared on cognitive inhibition tests and use of emotion-regulation strategies, pre- and post-intervention. Whereas on none of the scales a significant interaction effect was found reflecting superiority of CBIT over EIT, repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant time effect, with post hoc analyses indicating that cognitive inhibition and cognitive reappraisal significantly increased following CBIT intervention only. Within the group-CBIT, the increase in cognitive reappraisal was associated with higher intellectual ability. These findings may lead to a broader understanding of CBIT contribution to more than tic control, but rather to better cognitive and emotional regulation abilities.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the children and their families who made this study possible. A special thanks to the Tourette Syndrome Association in Israel (TSAI) that provided grant management and recruitment support.

Funding

This work was partially supported by funds received from the Tourette Syndrome Association in Israel (TSAI).

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NG: research project: organization, execution; statistical analysis: design, execution, co-writing, review and critique. SZ-B: research project: conception, organization, execution; review and critique; manuscript: co-writing of the final draft, review and critique. AF-V: research project: organization; manuscript: review and critique. MR: research project: conception, organization, design, review and critique; manuscript: co-writing of the final draft, review and critique. TPP: research project: conception, organization; statistical analysis: design, review and critique; manuscript: co-writing, review and critique.

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Correspondence to Noa Gur.

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All the procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Committee at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and with the 1975 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards (IRB# 0437-14-TLV). Informed consent was obtained from all the patients included in the study prior to enrollment.

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Gur, N., Zimmerman-Brenner, S., Fattal-Valevski, A. et al. Group comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics contribution to broader cognitive and emotion regulation in children. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-022-02018-2

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Keywords

  • Tic disorders
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Children
  • Comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics
  • Emotion regulation
  • Inhibition