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Ten-week comprehensive behavioural intervention for tics decreases tic severity compared to supportive therapy and education

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What is the efficacy of a comprehensive behavioural intervention for Tourette disorder in children?


126 children (9–17 years) with a primary diagnosis of impairing Tourette or chronic tic disorder of moderate or greater severity (Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) score >13 or >9 for children with motor or vocal tics only). Established antitic medication was permitted. Exclusions: not fluent in English; IQ≤80; comorbid psychiatric diagnosis requiring immediate treatment or change in current treatment; unstable medical condition; current substance abuse/dependence; lifetime diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder, mania or psychosis; ≥4 precious sessions of habit reversal training.


Three academic institutions in USA; recruitment December 2004 to May 2007.


Comprehensive behavioural intervention for tics (CBIT) or supportive therapy and education about tics (control). The primary component of CBIT is habit reversal training, which consists mainly of tic awareness (self-monitoring and identifying early signs that a tic is going to occur) and competing response training (using a voluntary behaviour to manage the premonitory urge). …

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  • Source of funding National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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