Research Article  |   September 2016
Reliability of Electrodermal Activity: Quantifying Sensory Processing in Children With Autism
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara M. Schupak, PhD, MPH, OTR, is President, Barpak Occupational Therapy, Bergenfield, NJ. At the time of the study, she was Doctoral Candidate, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ; Barpak99@gmail.com
  • Raju K. Parasher, MSc, PT, EdD, is Director and Principal, Amar Jyoti Institute of Physiotherapy, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
  • Genevieve Pinto Zipp, PT, EdD, is Professor, Department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2016
Reliability of Electrodermal Activity: Quantifying Sensory Processing in Children With Autism
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220030p1-7006220030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018291
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220030p1-7006220030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018291
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We established test–retest reliability of electrodermal markers used to quantify physiological response to sensation using the Sensory Challenge Protocol in children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

METHOD. Electrodermal activity (EDA) was measured during rest and in response to sensory inputs. Fourteen children with ASD and 18 typically developing children were tested and retested after 2–6 wk on skin conductance response, skin conductance level, nonspecific skin conductance response, and habituation.

RESULTS. Test–retest reliability was evaluated with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Rest-phase coefficients for both groups were moderate (.65–.73). ICCs during response to sensation ranged from moderate to good for amplitude (.60–.81) and magnitude (.50–.75). In addition, moderate to excellent reliability (.51–.93) was observed for nonspecific response measures.

CONCLUSION. EDA measures are reliable physiological markers that can quantify response to sensation in children with and without ASD.