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The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on tic symptoms in children and young people: a prospective cohort study


Louise Marston

Charlotte Sanderson


Sophie Bennett

Isobel Heyman

David Mataix-Cols

Eva Serlachius

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Digital Mental Health

Tara Murphy


To understand how children and young people with tic disorders were affected by COVID-19, we compared pre and during pandemic scores on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS). Participants were young people (N = 112; male:78%; 9–17 years) randomised to the control arm of the “ORBIT-Trial” (ISRCTN70758207, For this analysis, the control arm was split into two groups: one group was followed up to 12-months’ post-randomisation before the pandemic started (pre-COVID group, n = 44); the other group was impacted by the pandemic at the 12-month follow-up (during-COVID group, n = 47). Mixed effects linear regression modelling was conducted to explore differences in YGTSS at 6- and 12-months post-randomisation. There were no significant differences in tic symptom or severity between participants who were assessed before and during COVID-19. This finding was not influenced by age, gender, symptoms of anxiety or autism spectrum disorder. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic did not significantly impact existing tic symptoms.


Hall, C. L., Marston, L., Khan, K., Brown, B. J., Sanderson, C., Andrén, P., …Murphy, T. (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on tic symptoms in children and young people: a prospective cohort study. Child Psychiatry and Human Development,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2022
Publication Date Apr 13, 2022
Deposit Date Mar 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 14, 2023
Journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development
Print ISSN 0009-398X
Electronic ISSN 1573-3327
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Psychiatry and Mental health; Developmental and Educational Psychology; Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
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