Initial treatment retention for habit reversal training in adults with Tourette syndrome


Objective: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a chronic neuropsychiatric disorder characterised by multiple motor and phonic tics. Habit Reversal Training (HRT) is increasingly recognised as an effective behavioural intervention in the treatment of tics, however little is known about the characteristics of adult patients who attend HRT sessions. Methods: In this study, the demographic and clinical characteristics of 57 adult patients with TS consecutively referred to HRT intervention were retrospectively reviewed. Correlation and regression analyses were used to examine associations between patients' characteristics and their HRT attendance. Results: Twelve out of 57 patients were excluded from the analysis because of inappropriate referral and/or insufficient data. One in three of the remaining patients (15/45) failed to attend HRT following referral by the treating consultant. There were no significant differences in the demographic or clinical characteristics between patients who attended HRT and patients who did not. A trend towards statistical significance (p = 0.08) was found for decreased tic severity as predictor of poor attendance. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that initial treatment retention for HRT in TS can be suboptimal and reasons for poor attendance might be external to demographic or clinical factors. The statistical trend for decreased tic severity as predictor of poor attendance is of potential clinical relevance and needs replication. Further investigations on larger clinical samples will help to optimise care pathways and resource allocation strategies for patients with tics referred to behavioural interventions.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
Funding Information: We thank the Tourette Association of America and Tourettes Action-UK for ongoing support.
Additional Information: © Copyright by Pacini Editore Srl. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the CC-BY-NC-ND (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International) license. The article can be used by giving appropriate credit and mentioning the license, but only for noncommercial purposes and only in the original version. For further information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Behaviour,Habit reversal training,Initial treatment retention attendance,Tics,Tourette syndrome,Clinical Psychology,Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 2499-6904
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 08:26
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2023 09:41
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://old.jps ... rette-syndrome/ (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-12
Accepted Date: 2020-02-16
Authors: Pilcher, Felicity
Seri, Stefano (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9247-8102)
Cavanna, Andrea E.

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