Objective: In this pilot study we sought to develop and test a modified form of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR-tics) for the treatment of Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD). Our specific aims were: 1) To determine the feasibility and acceptability of an 8-week trial of MBSR-tics in individuals 16 and older with TS or CTD and 2) To determine the efficacy of an 8-week trial of MBSR-tics in individuals 16 and older with TS or CTD.
Methods: Eighteen individuals age 16-67 completed an uncontrolled open trial of MBSR-tics. The intervention consisted of 8 weekly 2-hour classes and one 4hour retreat in the fifth or sixth week of the program. Symptomatic assessments were performed at baseline, post-treatment, and one-month follow-up.
Results: MBSR-tics proved to be a feasible and acceptable intervention. It resulted in significant improvement in tic severity and tic-related impairment. 58.8% of subjects were deemed treatment responders. Therapeutic gains were maintained at 1-month follow-up. Improvements in tic severity were correlated with increases in self-reported levels of mindfulness.
Conclusions: This small open pilot study provides preliminary support for the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of MBSR-tics for individuals 16 or older with TS or CTD. A larger randomized controlled trial with blind assessment is necessary to confirm these initial, promising findings. Trial Registration Partners Clinical Trials Registry Number 2011P000606 (clinicaltrials.partners.org).
Keywords: Chronic tic disorder; Mindfulness; Psychosocial; Tourette syndrome; Treatment.
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