A new research has pointed out that behavioral programs and procedures can prove beneficial in place of drugs, for the reduction of symptoms of psychological problems like tic disorders.
This discovery comes at a time when doctors go for drugs as a first line of treatment for psychological disorders ranging from attention hyperactivity/deficit disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder.
It was reported that psychosocial treatments that rely heavily on behavioral procedures effectively reduces tics in people suffering from chronic tic disorders.
Usually, the first possible option for the treatment of tics is recommending psychoactive drugs. However, medications result into limited effectiveness, unwanted side effects, and poor adherence.
Strict evidence-based criteria were used as a way of systematically evaluating the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments, which were tailored to reduce tics.
Habit-reversal training (HRT) accentuates sensitivity to tic sensations and replaces the tic behavior with a more appropriate competing response. Exposure and response prevention, other forms of treatment, focus on the process of habituation.
Both the behavioral methods meet evidence-based standards as successful psychosocial treatments to reduce tics.
"Despite the common view that psychopharmacological treatments are the only effective treatments to reduce tics, the results from our research suggest that psychosocial treatments are viable alternatives to solely administering psychoactive drugs" said the authors of the report.
The report was published in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.