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Therapy as First Line Treatment for Tics

Young WomanAlthough pharmacology is often used as an initial method to improve psychological disorders ranging from attention hyperactivity/deficit disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder, a new review of the reported research indicates that behavioral programs and procedures can effectively reduce the symptoms of tic disorders.

The report, published in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, summarizes psychosocial treatments that rely heavily on behavioral procedures that can effectively reduce 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.

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Therapy as First Line Treatment for Tics

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Therapy as First Line Treatment for Tics. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/12/17/therapy-as-first-line-treatment-for-tics/1672.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.