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Research Article  |   July 1998
Including the Family Perspective in Sensory Integration Outcomes Research
Author Affiliations
  • Ellen S. Cohn, EdM, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Lecturer, Boston School of Occupational Therapy, Tufts University, 26 Winthrop Street, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
  • Sharon A. Cermak, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Article Information
Sensory Integration and Processing / Research
Research Article   |   July 1998
Including the Family Perspective in Sensory Integration Outcomes Research
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1998, Vol. 52, 540-546. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.7.540
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1998, Vol. 52, 540-546. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.7.540
Abstract

Occupational therapy, along with other health and rehabilitation professions, is experiencing an increased emphasis on measurement of intervention outcomes. The results of outcomes research are being used to develop practice guidelines, set standards for reimbursement, and justify health care policy. The outcome assessments used by therapists reflect our belief systems and the assumptions about behaviors we expect to influence. Using a sensory integration perspective to illustrate key points, we present a conceptual framework that is based on the disablement framework and Coster’s occupational functioning for children model. We highlight the need to examine each of the multiple levels at which intervention may influence child and family function and the links among levels. Sensory integration theory and efficacy studies are reviewed to identify assumptions relative to how sensory integration affects the everyday occupations of children in the context of their families. Potential research methods and assessments are suggested to include the family perspective in outcome studies.