Back in July, researcher Evie wrote a guest post about her project looking at tics and mealtimes. Back then she was recruiting young people to contribute their experiences. She’s back today but this time she’s looking for parent perspectives – over to Evie with more.
I’m Sandra-Eve Bamigbade, but I go by Evie. I’m a final year PhD candidate in Food and Public Health at the University of Hertfordshire. I recently wrote a guest blog for Touretteshero called Tics and Tables to recruit for my teen mealtime research project.
That study was to learn about the eating behaviours and mealtime experiences of teens with Tourettes syndrome. More specifically, I explored whether heightened reactivity to sensory stimuli in the environment (i.e. smell, taste, sound), anxiety and/or tic severity had any effect on mealtime experiences.
Preliminary findings suggest that the teens with TS reported being more anxious and fussier with food than adolescents without a neurodevelopmental diagnosis, and they also reported higher anxiety levels. This finding supports previous research based on parents’ feedback. However, no significant differences were found in reactivity to sensory stimuli. Therefore, food fussiness could not be explained by greater reactivity to sensory stimuli, as had been found previously in other research (both TS and non-TS research). We’re now exploring why this might be. Once we finalise the results, we’ll be sure to provide more information.
For the next stage in the project we’re looking to recruit parents and guardians of teens both with and without tics to help us learn more about mealtimes.
Who can take part?
We’re looking for parents and guardians of adolescents aged 11-16 years with Tourettes Syndrome or a Tic disorder to take part in our online study.
We’re also looking for parents and guardians of adolescents aged 11-16 without Tourettes to act as our control group so we can compare differences between the groups.
The online questionnaire takes approximately 30 minutes. You can complete it all at once or return back to it later to complete it.
The questionnaire includes questions about you, your child and your household – questions about your family mealtimes and your child’s eating behaviour – questions about your child’s anxiety levels and your parental stress levels. Those with a child with Tourettes or a Tic Disorder will be asked to complete a tic-severity questionnaire as well.
For more information on the survey, or to participate, please visit this webpage.
Once my PhD is complete and all research findings have been finalised, I’ll be sharing them with the Tourettes community. Some of the findings will also be submitted to academic journals. To keep up to date with me and my research, you can follow me on Twitter.
Evie’s researching an area that hasn’t been looked into much before and I’m looking forward to seeing her findings.