Quality of life of children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) is impacted greatly by its symptoms and their social consequences. Habit Reversal Training (HRT) is effective but has not, until now, been empirically evaluated in groups.
This randomised controlled trial evaluated feasibility and preliminary efficacy of eight HRT group sessions compared to eight Education group sessions. Thirty-three children aged 9–13 years with TS or Chronic Tic Disorder took part. Outcomes evaluated were tic severity and quality of life (QoL).
Tic severity improvements were found in both groups. Motor tic severity (Yale Global Tic Severity Scale) showed greatest improvements in the HRT group. Both groups showed a strong tendency toward improvements in patient reported QoL.
In conclusion, group-based treatments for TS are feasible and exposure to other children with tics did not increase tic expression. HRT led to greater reductions in tic severity than Education. Implications, such as cost-effectiveness of treatment delivery, are discussed.