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Behav Ther. 2014 Mar;45(2):177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2013.09.002. Epub 2013 Sep 21.

The premonitory urge to tic: measurement, characteristics, and correlates in older adolescents and adults.

Author information

1
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Electronic address: hreese@partners.org.
2
Yale Child Study Center; Emory University.
3
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
4
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Fordham University.
5
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Texas A & M University.
6
University of California at Los Angeles.
7
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; Weill Cornell Medical College.
8
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Abstract

In addition to motor and/or vocal tics, many individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) or chronic tic disorder (CTD) report frequent, uncomfortable sensory phenomena that immediately precede the tics. To date, examination of these premonitory sensations or urges has been limited by inconsistent assessment tools. In this paper, we examine the psychometric properties of a nine-item self-report measure, the Premonitory Urge to Tic Scale (PUTS) and examine the characteristics and correlates of the premonitory urge to tic in a clinical sample of 122 older adolescents and adults with TS or CTD. The PUTS demonstrated adequate internal consistency, temporal stability, and concurrent validity. Premonitory urges were endorsed by the majority of individuals. Most individuals reported some relief from the urges after completing a tic and being able to stop their tics even if only temporarily. Degree of premonitory urges was not significantly correlated with age, and we did not observe any gender differences. Degree of premonitory urges was significantly correlated with estimated IQ and tic severity, but not severity of comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also, it was not related to concomitant medication status. These findings represent another step forward in our understanding of the premonitory sensations associated with TS and CTD.

KEYWORDS:

Tourette syndrome; adults; chronic tic disorder; older adolescents; premonitory urge

PMID:
24491193
PMCID:
PMC4445415
DOI:
10.1016/j.beth.2013.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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