The premonitory urge revisited: An individualized premonitory urge for tics scale

Joseph F. McGuire*, Nicole McBride, John Piacentini, Carly Johnco, Adam B. Lewin, Tanya K. Murphy, Eric A. Storch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background Premonitory urge ratings have advanced our understanding of urge phenomenology among individuals with tic disorders (TD). However, these ratings have been limited by their reliance on a single global dimension of urge severity. This study examined the psychometric properties of a novel scale called the Individualized Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale (I-PUTS) that assesses urge severity across multiple dimensions (number, frequency, and intensity). Method Seventy-five youth with a TD and their parents participated. Clinicians assessed youth's tic severity, depression severity, rages, and premonitory urges. Parents completed ratings of youth's anxiety, affect lability, and general psychopathology. Youth completed self-report ratings of anxiety, urge severity, and distress tolerance. Results The I-PUTS identified that youth experienced an average of three distinct urges, but had an average of seven tics over the past week. Urges were primarily localized in the head/face, neck/throat, and arm regions. All I-PUTS dimensions exhibited excellent inter-rater reliability. The I-PUTS dimensions exhibited good convergent validity with global urge ratings and tic severity, and appropriate divergent validity from other clinical constructs. Youth who exhibited discrepant reports between clinician-administered and self-report urge ratings had less anxiety and tic severity, and greater inattention and externalizing problems compared to youth who exhibited good agreement. Conclusions The I-PUTS is a reliable and valid assessment of urge phenomena, which provides additional and complementary information to existing urge scales. It highlights the existence of multiple dimensions of urge severity, and presents particular utility when assessing urges in youth with TD who have inattention and externalizing problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Premonitory urge
  • Tic disorder
  • Tic severity
  • Tourette disorder


Dive into the research topics of 'The premonitory urge revisited: An individualized premonitory urge for tics scale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this