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Predictors of therapeutic treatment outcome in adolescent chronic tic disorders

  • J. B. Nissen (a1), E. T. Parner (a2) and P. H. Thomsen (a3)

Abstract

Background

Chronic tic disorders may have a major impact on a child's function. A significant effect has been shown for combined habit reversal training (HRT) and exposure response prevention (ERP) treatment delivered in an individual and group setting.

Aims

The present study examines predictors and moderators of treatment outcome after an acute therapeutic intervention.

Method

Fifty-nine children and adolescents were randomised to manualised treatment combining HRT and ERP as individual or group training. Age, gender, baseline tic severity, Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale (PUTS) scores, Beliefs about Tic Scale (BATS) scores, hypersensitivity and comorbid psychiatric symptoms were analysed as predictors of outcome. The same characteristics were examined as moderators for individual versus group treatment. Outcome measures included the change in total tic severity (TTS) score and functional impairment score (as measured by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS)).

Results

Internalising symptoms predicted a lesser decrease in functional impairment. The occurrence of obsessive–compulsive symptoms predicted a larger decrease in TTS. Baseline hypersensitivity and high scores on depressive symptoms favoured individual treatment. High baseline PUTS scores favoured group therapy.

Conclusions

This is the first study examining factors predicting and moderating perceived functional impairment following a therapeutic intervention. The study adds to the knowledge on predictors and moderators of TTS. Furthermore, this is the first study examining the effect of the BATS score. The study points towards factors that may influence treatment outcome and that require consideration when choosing supplemental treatment. This applies to comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms, and to the child's belief about their tics and premonitory urge.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Judith Nissen, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Psychiatry, Palle Juul-Jensens Blvd. 99, DK-8200 Aarhus, Denmark. Email: judiniss@rm.dk

References

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Predictors of therapeutic treatment outcome in adolescent chronic tic disorders

  • J. B. Nissen (a1), E. T. Parner (a2) and P. H. Thomsen (a3)
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