Tic-related cognition, sensory phenomena, and anxiety in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome

Tamar Steinberg, Adva Harush, Meirav Barnea, Rueven Dar, John Piacentini, Doug Woods, Sharona Shmuel-Baruch, Alan Apter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Tourette syndrome is a protoypical example of developmental psychopathology, with the varying expressions of the disorder and its consequences appearing over time. Sensory urges typically appear after age 10 and are often followed by anxiety and depression. Objective To study the associations among tic-related cognitions, premonitory urges, and tic severity in children with Tourette syndrome at different stages of the illness. Subjects Fifty-seven consecutive patients referred to a tic disorders clinic. Instruments A battery of instruments was completed: Yale Global Tic Severity Scale, Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale, Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, and Child Depression Inventory. To examine cognitions, a new measure was developed: the Beliefs About Tics Scale. Results Strong correlations were found between tic-related beliefs and both premonitory urges and tic-related impairments (as measured by the Yale Global Scale). Tic-related beliefs were also strongly correlated with depression in children older than 13 years but not in younger children. Conclusions The significant correlations between tic-related cognitions, premonitory urges, and tic-related impairments in children emphasize the important role of psychological and sensory factors in the understanding of Tourette syndrome and in its treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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