Background Little is known about the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures on young patients with tic disorders. Previous studies focused on clinician and parent ratings of tic severity, whereas the only international self-report data are available for adult populations. We present the first findings from a case–control study on children and adolescents with tics during lockdown in Italy. Methods We surveyed 49 patients aged 6–18 years and 245 matched controls with a newly developed questionnaire covering socio-demographic and clinical data, as well as lockdown-related changes to daily life activities. Results About half (53.2%) of the Italian school-age patients who took part in our survey experienced changes in tic severity during lockdown. Perceived increases in tic severity (29.8%) were reported more often than decreases (23.4%). Analogous trends were reported for perceived restlessness and, more significantly, irritability, whereas changes in pain symptoms were less common and were similar in both directions. The presence of tics was associated with increased difficulties with remote learning (p = 0.01), but decreased feelings of missing out on social interactions with schoolmates (p = 0.03). Conclusions Self-reported data on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown in school-age patients with tic disorders indicate perceived changes in tic severity, as well as restlessness and irritability, in about half of the cases. These findings could guide both clinicians and teachers in the implementation of targeted adjustments in the delivery of care and educational strategies, respectively.

Self-reported impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on young patients with tic disorders: findings from a case–control study

Dui, Linda Greta;Lunardini, Francesca;Ferrante, Simona;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background Little is known about the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures on young patients with tic disorders. Previous studies focused on clinician and parent ratings of tic severity, whereas the only international self-report data are available for adult populations. We present the first findings from a case–control study on children and adolescents with tics during lockdown in Italy. Methods We surveyed 49 patients aged 6–18 years and 245 matched controls with a newly developed questionnaire covering socio-demographic and clinical data, as well as lockdown-related changes to daily life activities. Results About half (53.2%) of the Italian school-age patients who took part in our survey experienced changes in tic severity during lockdown. Perceived increases in tic severity (29.8%) were reported more often than decreases (23.4%). Analogous trends were reported for perceived restlessness and, more significantly, irritability, whereas changes in pain symptoms were less common and were similar in both directions. The presence of tics was associated with increased difficulties with remote learning (p = 0.01), but decreased feelings of missing out on social interactions with schoolmates (p = 0.03). Conclusions Self-reported data on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown in school-age patients with tic disorders indicate perceived changes in tic severity, as well as restlessness and irritability, in about half of the cases. These findings could guide both clinicians and teachers in the implementation of targeted adjustments in the delivery of care and educational strategies, respectively.
2022
Adolescents; Children; COVID-19 pandemic; Lockdown; Tic disorders; Tics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1204164
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