Objective: Children needing admission to an inpatient mental health unit often present with severe neuropsychiatric disorders characterised by complex psychopathology. We aimed to examine all admitted children with comorbid chronic tic disorder (CTD) and Tourette syndrome (TS) over a 10-year period and determine the clinical significance of these diagnoses. Method: A retrospective, naturalistic study was conducted, comparing children with and without CTD/TS in terms of co-morbid diagnoses, medication use, access to education, aggression contributing to the admission, duration of admission, functional outcomes and satisfaction with treatment. Data were analysed using Chi-square/Fisher’s exact test and t-test for categorical and continuous variables, respectively, and subsequently with unadjusted and adjusted linear and logistic regression analyses. Results: A relatively high proportion of children had co-morbid CTD/TS (19.7%). There was a significant association with co-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder but not attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. CTD/TS were associated with longer admissions even after adjustments for confounding but did not seem to be independently associated with other examined clinical characteristics. Conclusions: The prevalence of CTD/TS in children needing inpatient treatment is significant. In our sample, comorbid CTD/TS seem to represent a marker of overall symptom severity as evidenced by longer admissions.
- inpatient admission
- mental health