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February 2013
T. Steinberg, I. Tamir, S. Zimmerman-Brenner, M. Friling and A. Apter
 Background:  Tic disorders are common causes of morbidity in Israel but their prevalence in this country needs further study.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of mental disorders in Israeli youth including tic disorders, as part of the Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA).

Methods: The ISMEHA was conducted in a representative sample of 957 adolescents aged 14–17 and their mothers during 2004–2005. We interviewed the adolescents and their mothers in their homes and collected demographic information about the use of services. We also administered a psychiatric interview, the Development and Well-Being Assessment inventory (DAWBA), which included a question on tic disorder. The prevalence of tic disorders was calculated based on the adolescents’ and maternal reports. The relationships among demographic data, comorbidity rates, help-seeking behaviors and tic disorder are presented.

Results: The prevalence of tics was 1.3% according to maternal reports and 4.4% according to adolescents’ reports. The prevalence correlated with externalizing disorders and learning disabilities A higher prevalence of tics was found in the Arab population compared with Jewish adolescents

Conclusions: The prevalence of tic disorders in Israel, as measured by a direct question in this epidemiological study, and associated comorbidities concurs with previous reports. The complexities of prevalence estimations, comorbidities, demographic correlates, and help-seeking behaviors are discussed.

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