Therapy can reduce tics and Tourette syndrome

December 14, 2007

Riverside, CA - December 14, 2007 - At a time when doctors reach for drugs as a first line of treatment for psychological disorders ranging from attention hyperactivity/deficit disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder, a review of the reported research indicates that behavioral programs and procedures can effectively reduce the symptoms of tic disorders.

Published in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, the review reports that psychosocial treatments that rely heavily on behavioral procedures effectively reduces tics in people suffering from chronic tic disorders.

Generally, administering psychoactive drugs is considered the first viable option to treat tics. However, medications may have limited effectiveness, unwanted side effects, and poor adherence.

This review uses stringent evidence-based criteria as a way of systematically evaluating the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments designed to reduce tics. Habit-reversal training (HRT) emphasizes sensitivity to tic sensations and replaces the tic behavior with a more appropriate competing response. Exposure and response prevention, other forms of treatment, focus on the process of habituation. Both behavioral methods meet evidence-based standards as successful psychosocial treatments to reduce tics.

"Despite the common view that psychopharmacological treatments are the only effective treatments to reduce tics, the results from our research suggest that psychosocial treatments are viable alternatives to solely administering psychoactive drugs" the authors note.
-end-
This study is published in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishng.net.

To view the abstract for this article, please click here.

Clayton R. Cook is affiliated with the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Information in Riverside, CA and can be reached for questions at CookC@boystown.org.

Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice presents cutting-edge developments in the science and practice of clinical psychology by publishing scholarly topical reviews of research, theory, and application to diverse areas of the field, including assessment, intervention, service delivery, and professional issues.

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley's Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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