Uncovering Disparities in TS Prevalence and Identification between Caucasians and African Americans

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Washington University
Investigators Name
Striley, Catherine Woodstock, PhD

Large studies of the prevalence of Tourette syndrome (TS) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) in representative minority populations are rare. This gap may be attributable to two methodological problems. First, large scale epidemiologic studies of the prevalence of TS and CTD require reliable case finding and such case finding is limited by the expense of expert examination. Second, studies of the prevalence of TS and CTD require representative samples so that screenings can be conducted for unbiased detection and treatment. To date, studies have not recruited sufficient minority respondents leading to an unknown prevalence of TS and CTD among minority populations. This proposal will address these problems and will test the use of a Video-Integrated Screening Instrument for Tics and Tourette syndrome (VISIT-TS) and incorporate a strategy for recruiting underrepresented populations in community settings. Specifically, in two phases, we will: 1. Test the feasibility and acceptability of the VISIT-TS 10 minute screening among participants recruited door-to-door in an African-American majority community (Phase 1). 2. Test the demand for the use of the VISIT-TS as a free health screening provided through health fairs in the City of St. Louis and other health screening settings (Phase 2). 3. Estimate the prevalence of TS and CTD in a community ascertained sample (n=200) of 5 – 70 year old people expected to have a high percentage of minority subjects. 4. Prepare a natural study of the prevalence, course and treatment of TS, CTD and their correlates with adequate power to compare prevalence between racial and ethnic groups. Catherine Woodstock Striley, Ph.D., MSW, MPE, Kevin Black, M.D. Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Award: $73,100 Commentary: Studies counting cases of Tourette syndrome (TS) in minority populations have rarely been conducted due to two problems; i) expert medical examination is generally required to reliably determine whether or not the person has TS and ii) such examination on a large scale is expensive. We also lack effective methods to recruit representative minority populations for in-person TS screening. With previous TSA funding we developed a Video-Integrate Screening Instrument for Tics and Tourette syndrome (VISIT-TS). With the current funding, community health workers will test the feasibility of using VISIT-TS at HealthStreet – the community outreach center at Washington University, and at health fairs and other community venues. Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 2010-2011