Assessment and Management of Tic Disorders in Pediatric Primary Care Settings

  • Mina YadegarEmail author
  • Sisi Guo
  • Emily J. Ricketts
  • Samuel H. Zinner
Tourette's Syndrome (M Specht and T Zeiger, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Tourette’s Syndrome


Purpose of Review

Pediatricians and other primary care providers are often the first and sole healthcare clinicians of patients who present with tics. However, limited primary care pediatric training in neuropsychiatric concerns, as well as perceived lack of comfort and preparation, makes it challenging for these clinicians to confidently identify and manage tic disorders.

Recent Findings

Current empirical findings of tic disorder management relevant to pediatric physicians, including assessment, psychoeducation, behavioral interventions, psychotropic medications, and alternative treatments are reviewed.


This article discusses neuropsychiatric and medical complexities of tic disorder assessment, with particular emphasis on differential and comorbid diagnoses. Tiered referral recommendations, based on symptom severity, impairment, and consideration of comorbid conditions, are provided. Future directions for tic management, including dissemination of evidence-based treatments of tic disorders and multidisciplinary teams within pediatric primary care settings, are included.


Tic disorders Tourette’s syndrome Pediatric primary care Pediatricians 


Funding Acknowledgment

The research reported in this publication was supported by National Institute of Mental Health K23MH113884 grant funding to Dr. Ricketts.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mina Yadegar
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Sisi Guo
    • 1
  • Emily J. Ricketts
    • 1
  • Samuel H. Zinner
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Boston Child Study CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Behavioral Associates Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.University of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Seattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA

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