Difficulties experienced by young people with Tourette syndrome in secondary school: a mixed methods description of self, parent and staff perspectives

Wadman, Ruth and Glazebrook, Cris and Beer, Charlotte Emma and Jackson, Georgina M. (2016) Difficulties experienced by young people with Tourette syndrome in secondary school: a mixed methods description of self, parent and staff perspectives. BMC Psychiatry, 16 (14). ISSN 1471-244X

[img]
Preview
PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (499kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by motor and vocal tics. These involuntary movements and vocalizations can have a negative impact in the school environment. The paper presents a mixed methods description of the difficulties experienced by UK students with TS in secondary school, drawing on multiple perspectives.

Methods: Thirty-five young people with TS (11 to 18 years), their parents (n = 35) and key members of school staff (n = 54) took part in semi-structured interviews about TS-related difficulties in secondary school. Theme analysis was used to identify school difficulties reported by the young people, before moving on to analysis of the parents’ and staff members’ transcripts. The most frequently occurring themes from the young people’s accounts were then quantified in order to examine the level of agreement between informants and the association with clinical symptom severity.

Results: A range of TS-related difficulties with academic work, and social and emotional well-being in school were reported by young people, parents and staff. Three superordinate themes are described: 1) TS makes school work more difficult, 2) Negative response to TS from staff and fellow students and 3) TS makes it more difficult to manage emotions in school. The three difficulties most frequently reported by the young people were problems concentrating in class, unhelpful responses by school staff to tics and difficulties with other students such as name-calling and mimicking tics. Additional difficulties reported by more than a quarter of young people related to homework, examinations, writing, anxiety and managing anger in school. Having more severe motor tics was associated with reporting difficulties with homework and handwriting, whereas having more severe phonic tics was associated with reporting unhelpful responses from staff. Young people and parents agreed more strongly with each other than they did with staff regarding school difficulties faced by individuals, and staff generally reported fewer TS-related difficulties.

Conclusions: TS can present a barrier to learning in several ways and can also affect interactions with others and emotional experiences in secondary school. Implications for supporting secondary school-aged students with TS are considered.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Tourette syndrome, Adolescence, School, Qualitative methods, Mixed methods
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-016-0717-9
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 13:29
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:38
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31914

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View