Tourette syndrome, co-morbidities and quality of life.

Tourette syndrome is often associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and other co-morbidities, the presence of which can reduce health-related quality of life. The relationship between the number and type of co-morbidities and tic severity upon health-related quality of life has been insufficiently examined in Tourette syndrome populations and not at all in the Australian context. We hypothesised that an increased number of co-morbid diagnoses would be inversely related to health-related quality of life and that the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder in particular would negatively impact health-related quality of life.
In all, 83 people with a previously established diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, who responded to a letter of invitation sent to the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia past-member database, formed the study sample. Participants completed the Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome-Quality of Life Scale and a short form of the National Hospital Interview Schedule to assess tics and related behaviours.
Participants with pure-Tourette syndrome had significantly better health-related quality of life than those with Tourette syndrome and three or more co-morbid diagnoses. Few differences were observed between the pure-Tourette syndrome and Tourette syndrome and one or two co-morbid diagnoses groups. Analysis of the impact of individual co-morbid disorders and Tourette syndrome symptoms on health-related quality of life indicated that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder exerted a significant negative effect, as did the presence of complex tics, especially coprolalia and copropraxia. When these variables were examined in multiple regression analysis, number of co-morbidities and the presence of coprophenomena emerged as significant predictors of health-related quality of life.
While tics are the defining feature of Tourette syndrome, it appears to be the presence of co-morbidities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in particular, and coprophenomena that have the greater impact on health-related quality of life. This has implications for symptom-targeting in the treatment of Tourette syndrome since all available treatments are symptomatic and not disease modifying.
AuthorsValsamma Eapen, Corina Snedden, Rudi Črnčec, Anna Pick, Perminder Sachdev
JournalThe Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry (Aust N Z J Psychiatry) Vol. 50 Issue 1 Pg. 82-93 (Jan 2016) ISSN: 1440-1614 [Electronic] England
PMID26169656 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Copyright© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

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