Mary R. Pollock, Alexia E. Metz, Theresa Barabash; Association Between Dysfunctional Elimination Syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(4):472–477. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.011411
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We explored whether sensory processing disorder (SPD) is related to dysfunctional elimination syndrome (DES).
METHOD. We used the Vancouver Nonneurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction/Dysfunctional Elimination Syndrome Questionnaire and the Short Sensory Profile with participants who sought treatment of DES (n = 19) and healthy control participants (n = 55).
RESULTS. Significantly more children with DES (53%) had SPD than was reported for the general population (p < .001; Ahn, Miller, Milberger, & McIntosh, 2004). Control participants did not have a greater rate of SPD (p = .333). We found a significant association between the occurrence of DES and SPD, χ2(1) = 20.869, p < .001, and a significant correlation between test scores (Spearman’s ρ = −.493, Rs2 = .243, p < .001).
CONCLUSION. Many children with DES may also have SPD, suggesting that a child’s sensory processing pattern would be an important aspect that could influence the plan of care.
Children with DES are likely to also have SPD. This study found that a majority of children with DES seen in one clinic also presented with SPD, which could not be accounted for by a regional difference because the rate of SPD in a control sample did not vary from that in a previous report on the general population (Ahn et al., 2004).
Referral to occupational therapy may be appropriate to address this aspect of care in an interdisciplinary team (AAP, 2012; Byrne, 2009). Understanding a child’s unique sensory processing can help practitioners and parents have a greater understanding of the child’s toileting behaviors.
Because elimination disorders have considerable impact on children and their families, expanding the understanding of how to develop a successful treatment plan that is client centered is important.
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