212 research outputs found

    Investigating Habituation to Premonitory Urges in Behavior Therapy for Tic Disorders

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    Behavior therapy is effective for Persistent Tic Disorders (PTDs), but behavioral processes facilitating tic reduction are not well understood. One process, habituation, is thought to create tic reduction through decreases in premonitory urge severity. The current study tested whether premonitory urges decreased in youth with PTDs (N = 126) and adults with PTDs (N = 122) who participated in parallel randomized clinical trials comparing behavior therapy to psychoeducation and supportive therapy (PST). Trends in premonitory urges, tic severity, and treatment outcome were analyzed according to the predictions of a habituation model, whereby urge severity would be expected to decrease in those who responded to behavior therapy. Although adults who responded to behavior therapy showed a significant trend of declining premonitory urge severity across treatment, results failed to demonstrate that behavior therapy specifically caused changes in premonitory urge severity. In addition, reductions in premonitory urge severity in those who responded to behavior therapy were significant greater than those who did not respond to behavior therapy but no different than those who responded or did not respond to PST. Children with PTDs failed to show any significant changes in premonitory urges. Reductions in premonitory urge severity did not mediate the relationship between treatment and outcome in either adults or children. These results cast doubt on the notion that habituation is the therapeutic process underlying the effectiveness of behavior therapy, which has immediate implications for the psychoeducation and therapeutic rationale presented in clinical practice. Moreover, there may be important developmental changes in premonitory urges in PTDs, and alternative models of therapeutic change warrant investigation

    Benchmarking Treatment Response in Tourette’s Disorder: A Psychometric Evaluation and Signal Detection Analysis of the Parent Tic Questionnaire

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    This study assessed the psychometric properties of a parent-reported tic severity measure, the Parent Tic Questionnaire (PTQ), and used the scale to establish guidelines for delineating clinically significant tic treatment response. Participants were 126 children ages 9 to 17 who participated in a randomized controlled trial of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). Tic severity was assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS), Hopkins Motor/Vocal Tic Scale (HMVTS) and PTQ; positive treatment response was defined by a score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved) on the Clinical Global Impressions – Improvement (CGI-I) scale. Cronbach’s alpha and intraclass correlations (ICC) assessed internal consistency and test-retest reliability, with correlations evaluating validity. Receiver- and Quality-Receiver Operating Characteristic analyses assessed the efficiency of percent and raw-reduction cutoffs associated with positive treatment response. The PTQ demonstrated good internal consistency (α = 0.80 to 0.86), excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = .84 to .89), good convergent validity with the YGTSS and HM/VTS, and good discriminant validity from hyperactive, obsessive-compulsive, and externalizing (i.e., aggression and rule-breaking) symptoms. A 55% reduction and 10-point decrease in PTQ Total score were optimal for defining positive treatment response. Findings help standardize tic assessment and provide clinicians with greater clarity in determining clinically meaningful tic symptom change during treatment

    Moderators and Predictors of Response to Behavior Therapy for Tics in Tourette Syndrome

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    Objective: To examine moderators and predictors of response to behavior therapy for tics in children and adults with Tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorders. Methods: Data from 2 10-week, multisite studies (1 in children and 1 in adults; total n = 248) comparing comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT) to psychoeducation and supportive therapy (PST) were combined for moderator analyses. Participants (177 male, 71 female) had a mean age of 21.5 ± 13.9 years (range 9–69). Demographic and clinical characteristics, baseline tic-suppressing medication, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders were tested as potential moderators for CBIT vs PST or predictors of outcome regardless of treatment assignment. Main outcomes measures were the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale Total Tic score and the Clinical Global Impression–Improvement score assessed by masked evaluators. Results: The presence of tic medication significantly moderated response to CBIT vs PST (p = 0.01). Participants showed tic reduction after CBIT regardless of tic medication status, but only participants receiving tic medication showed reduction of tics after PST. Co-occurring psychiatric disorders, age, sex, family functioning, tic characteristics, and treatment expectancy did not moderate response. Across both treatments, greater tic severity (p = 0.005) and positive participant expectancy (p = 0.01) predicted greater tic improvement. Anxiety disorders (p = 0.042) and premonitory urge severity (p = 0.005) predicted lower tic reduction. Conclusions: Presence of co-occurring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or anxiety disorders did not moderate response to CBIT. Although participants on tic medication showed improvement after CBIT, the difference between CBIT and PST was greater for participants who were not on tic-suppressing medication. ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: The child and adult CBIT studies are listed on clinical trials.gov (NCT00218777 and NCT00231985, respectively). Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that CBIT is effective in reducing tic severity across subgroups of patients with chronic tic disorders, although the difference between treatments was smaller for participants on tic-suppressing medications, suggesting reduced efficacy in this subgroup

    Neurocognitive Correlates of Treatment Response in Children with Tourette\u27s Disorder

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    This paper examined neurocognitive functioning and its relationship to behavior treatment response among youth with Tourette\u27s Disorder (TD) in a large randomized controlled trial. Participants diagnosed with TD completed a brief neurocognitive battery assessing inhibitory functions, working memory, and habit learning pre- and post-treatment with behavior therapy (CBIT, Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics) or psychoeducation plus supportive therapy (PST). At baseline, youth with tics and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibited some evidence of impaired working memory and simple motor inhibition relative to youth with tics without ADHD. Additionally, a small negative association was found between antipsychotic medications and youth\u27s performance speed. Across treatment groups, greater baseline working memory and aspects of inhibitory functioning were associated with a positive treatment response; no between-group differences in neurocognitive functioning at post-treatment were identified. Within the behavior therapy group, pre-treatment neurocognitive status did not predict outcome, nor was behavior therapy associated significant change in neurocognitive functioning post-treatment. Findings suggest that co-occurring ADHD is associated with some impairments in neurocognitive functioning in youth with Tourette\u27s Disorder. While neurocognitive predictors of behavior therapy were not found, participants who received behavior therapy exhibited significantly reduced tic severity without diminished cognitive functioning

    An Empirical Examination of Symptom Substitution Associated with Behavior Therapy for Tourette\u27s Disorder

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    Over the past six decades, behavior therapy has been a major contributor to the development of evidence-based psychotherapy treatments. However, a long-standing concern with behavior therapy among many nonbehavioral clinicians has been the potential risk for symptom substitution. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate symptom substitution in response to behavioral treatments, largely due to measurement and definitional challenges associated with treated psychiatric symptoms. Given the overt motor and vocal tics associated with Tourette’s disorder, it presents an excellent opportunity to empirically evaluate the potential risk for symptom substitution associated with behavior therapy. The present study examined the possible presence of symptom substitution using four methods: (a) the onset of new tic symptoms, (b) the occurrence of adverse events, (c) change in tic medications, and (d) worsening of co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. Two hundred twenty-eight participants with Tourette’s disorder or persistent motor or vocal tic disorders were randomly assigned to receive behavioral therapy or supportive therapy for tics. Both therapies consisted of eight sessions over 10 weeks. Results indicated that participants treated with behavior therapy were not more likely to have an onset of new tic symptoms, experience adverse events, increase tic medications, or have an exacerbation in co-occurring psychiatric symptoms relative to participants treated with supportive therapy. Further analysis suggested that the emergence of new tics was attributed with the normal waxing and waning nature of Tourette’s disorder. Findings provide empirical support to counter the long-standing concern of symptom substitution in response to behavior therapy for individuals with Tourette\u27s disorder

    Neurocognitive Predictors of Treatment Response to Randomized Treatment in Adults with Tic Disorders

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    Tourette\u27s disorder (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by involuntary vocal and motor tics. Consequently, TS/CTD have been conceptualized as disorders of cognitive and motor inhibitory control. However, most neurocognitive studies have found comparable or superior inhibitory capacity among individuals with TS/CTD relative to healthy controls. These findings have led to the hypothesis that individuals with TS/CTD develop increased inhibitory control due to the constant need to inhibit tics. However, the role of cognitive control in TS/CTD is not yet understood, particularly in adults. To examine the role of inhibitory control in TS/CTD, the present study investigated this association by assessing the relationship between inhibitory control and treatment response in a large sample of adults with TS/CTD. As part of a large randomized trial comparing behavior therapy versus supportive psychotherapy for TS/CTD, a battery of tests, including tests of inhibitory control was administered to 122 adults with TS/CTD at baseline. We assessed the association between neuropsychological test performance and change in symptom severity, as well as compared the performance of treatment responders and non-responders as defined by the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Results indicated that change in symptoms, and treatment response were not associated with neuropsychological performance on tests of inhibitory control, intellectual ability, or motor function, regardless of type of treatment. The finding that significant change in symptom severity of TS/CTD patients is not associated with impairment or change in inhibitory control regardless of treatment type suggests that inhibitory control may not be a clinically relevant facet of these disorders in adults

    Self-Esteem in Adults with Tourette Syndrome and Chronic Tic Disorders: The Roles of Tic Severity, Treatment, and Comorbidity

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    Background Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorders (CTD) are stigmatizing disorders that may significantly impact self-esteem. Alternatively, comorbid psychiatric illnesses may affect self-esteem more than tics themselves. Extant research on self-esteem in TS/CTD is limited, has inconsistently examined the effect of comorbidities on self-esteem, and yields mixed findings. Method This study aimed to clarify the roles of tics versus comorbid diagnoses on self-esteem in a large, carefully diagnosed sample of adults with TS/CTD (N = 122) receiving 10 weeks of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) or Psychoeducation and Supportive Therapy (PST). Results Baseline self-esteem did not differ between adults with TS/CTD only and normative means, whereas self-esteem was significantly lower among adults with TS/CTD with a comorbid psychiatric illness. In a multiple regression testing the baseline association between tic severity, presence of comorbid psychiatric illness, and depression severity with self-esteem, comorbidity and depression severity were significantly associated with self-esteem, whereas tic severity was not. Finally, using a generalized linear model, we tested the effects of treatment assignment, comorbidity, and their interaction on changes in self-esteem across treatment, controlling for baseline depression severity. Results showed that for those with a comorbid illness, self-esteem improved significantly more with CBIT than with PST. Conclusions Comorbid illnesses appear to affect self-esteem more so than tics among adults with TS/CTD. Therapeutic attention should be paid to treating comorbid diagnoses alongside tics when treating TS/CTD
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