"Not just right experiences" in patients with Tourette syndrome: complex motor tics or compulsions?

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  • University of Birmingham


Tourette syndrome (TS) is a chronic tic disorder often accompanied by specific obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) or full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Repetitive behaviours are commonly reported by patients with TS, who experience the urge to perform an action until it has been done "just right". This study investigated the clinical correlates of "not just right experiences" (NJREs) in this clinical population. A standardised battery of self-report psychometric measures was administered to 71 adult patients with TS recruited from a specialist TS clinic. NJREs were systematically screened for using the Not Just Right Experiences-Questionnaire Revised (NJRE-QR). The vast majority of patients in our clinical sample (n=57, 80%) reported at least one NJRE. Patients diagnosed with TS and co-morbid OCD/OCS (n=42, 59%) reported a significantly higher number of NJREs compared to TS patients without OCD/OCS. The strongest correlation was found between NJRE-QR scores and self-report measures of compulsivity. NJREs appear to be intrinsic to the clinical phenomenology of patients with TS and can present with higher frequency in the context of co-morbid OCD/OCS, suggesting they are more related to compulsions than tics.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-63
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2013


  • Adult, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis, Comorbidity, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Obsessive Behavior/epidemiology, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/diagnosis, Personality Inventory, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychometrics/statistics & numerical data, Self Report, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tic Disorders/complications, Tics, Tourette Syndrome/complications, United Kingdom/epidemiology, Young Adult