Tourette Syndrome (TS) affects around 1% of children and young people in the UK. Behavioural treatments, such as Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), are as clinically and cost-effective as medication for tics. We know that young people and their families would like to access these kinds of therapies, but very few young people receive behavioural treatments as there are only a small number of therapists who offer this treatment to children with tics in the UK.

A therapist-guided, online behavioural intervention, developed by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, has been shown to be effective and acceptable in Sweden. The ORBIT study (short for ‘Online Remote Behavioural Treatment for Tics’) is a four-year project that is evaluating an English version of this online behavioural treatment, in comparison to another online treatment. In both treatments, the child and their parent/carer complete an online intervention, and they are given weekly contact from a therapist to assist and encourage them with the treatment.

We are working in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Karolinska Institutet to evaluate the two online treatments in England over the next four years. We are also working in partnership with Tourettes Action, the UK’s leading Tourette syndrome and tics charity.  So far, we have worked with young people who have tics (and their families) in translating and adapting the online treatments into English and made it suitable for young people living in England.

The ORBIT study is looking for families in England who have a child (aged 9-17 yrs) with tics or Tourette syndrome. The randomised controlled trial of the two online treatments began in May 2018 – we currently have 41 young people taking part (Sept 2018). If you wish to find out more and to register your interest to take part, please visit https://www.institutemh.org.uk/research/projects-and-studies/current-studies/orbit/201-want-to-take-part-in-the-orbit-study

This project is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding-and-support/funding-for-research-studies/funding-programmes/health-technology-assessment/).

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