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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 9 (1996), Issue 2, Pages 89-95

Spasmodic Torticollis—A Multicentre Study on Behavioural Aspects III: Psychosocial Changes and Coping

T. Nickel,1,7 F. Heinen,2 C. E. Scheidt,1,7 O. Rayki,1 J. Wissel,3 W. Poewe,3 R. Benecke,4 T. Gasser,5 W. Oertel,5 R. Dengler,6 and G. Deuschl2

1Abteilung für Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Universität Freiburg, Germany
2Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universität Freiburg, Germany
3Neurologische Klinik, Rudolf-Virchow-Krankenhaus, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Germany
4Neurologische Klinik, Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
5Neurologische Klinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
6Neurologische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany
7Department of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, University of Freiburg, Hauptstr. 8, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Psychosocial changes in spasmodic torticollis (ST) affect predominantly social life, professional life and psychological well-being. Concerning social life, 84.6% of the patients felt that they attracted considerable public attention due to their neurological illness and 65% had reduced participation in social events. A substantial number of patients had retired from professional activities; others felt severely impaired in their working capacity. The psychosocial sequelae in ST, however, seemed to depend less on the neurological signs per se than on the physical symptoms and on coping. Depressive coping in particular emerged as a predictor of psychosocial distress.