Prevalence of tics in schoolchildren in central Spain: A population-based study

Esther Cubo, José María Trejo Gabriel Y Galán, Vanesa Ausín Villaverde, Sara Sáez Velasco, Vanesa Delgado Benito, Jesús Vicente MacArrón, José Cordero Guevara, Elan D. Louis, Julián Benito-León

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45 Scopus citations


Tic disorders constitute a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood. This study sought to determine the prevalence of tic disorders in a school-based sample. A randomized sample of 1158 schoolchildren, based on clusters (classrooms) in the province of Burgos (Spain), was identified on a stratified sampling frame combining types of educational center and setting (mainstream schools and special education), using a two-phase approach (screening and diagnosis ascertainment by a neurologist). Tics with/without impairment criterion were diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria. In mainstream schools, tics were observed in 125/741 students (16.86%; 95% confidence interval, 14.10-19.63), and were more frequent in boys (87/448, 19.42%; 95% confidence interval, 15.64-23.19) compared with girls (38/293, 12.96%; 95% confidence interval, 8.95-16.98; P = 0.03). In special education centers, tics disorders were observed in 11/54 of children (20.37%; 95% confidence interval, 8.70-32.03). Overall, tics with impairment criteria were less frequent than tics without impairment criteria (4.65% vs 11.85%, P < 0.0001). The most frequent diagnoses involved chronic motor tics (6.07%) and Tourette syndrome (5.26%). Tic disorders are common in childhood, and the use or nonuse of impairment criteria exerts a significant impact on tic prevalence estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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