A randomized controlled trial comparing behavioral, educational, and pharmacological treatments in youths with chronic tic disorder or Tourette syndrome

Renata Rizzo, Alessandra Pellico, Paola Rosaria Silvestri, Flavia Chiarotti, Francesco Cardona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context: The existing literature on the treatment of pediatric chronic tic disorder (CTD) and Tourette syndrome (TS) indicates that both behavioral therapy (BT) and pharmacotherapy (PT) are effective for reducing symptoms. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of BT compared to psychoeducation (PE) or PT for reducing tics and co-occurring symptoms and for improving quality of life (QoL) in a sample of youths with CTD and TS. Design: A 10 weeks, 2 sites (Catania, Rome) randomized controlled trial. Participants were randomized to receive one of the following treatments: BT, PE, or PT. Participants: 110 outpatients aged between 8 and 17 years affected by CTD or TS. Results: Patients in the BT and PT groups showed a significant reduction in the severity of tic symptoms, while the PE group did not show any improvement. PT was more effective for reducing obsessive compulsive symptoms than BT, while PE group did not show any improvement. Both BT and PT groups showed an improvement in most QoL domains, whereas no differences were found in the PE group. Conclusions: BT is as effective as pharmacological therapy in the treatment of tic disorders in children and adolescents, thus offering an alternative to medications for CTD and TS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume9
Issue numberMAR
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 27 2018

Keywords

  • Behavior therapy
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Psychoeducation
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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