Research Article  |   December 2017
Specific Sensory Techniques and Sensory Environmental Modifications for Children and Youth With Sensory Integration Difficulties: A Systematic Review
Author Affiliations
  • Stefanie C. Bodison, OTD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor of Research, Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; bodison@usc.edu
  • L. Diane Parham, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Article Information
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Evidence-Based Practice / Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Sensory Integration and Processing / Special Section: Evidence Review
Research Article   |   December 2017
Specific Sensory Techniques and Sensory Environmental Modifications for Children and Youth With Sensory Integration Difficulties: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201190040p1-7201190040p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.029413
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201190040p1-7201190040p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.029413
Abstract

This systematic review examined the effectiveness of specific sensory techniques and sensory environmental modifications to improve participation of children with sensory integration (SI) difficulties. Abstracts of 11,436 articles published between January 2007 and May 2015 were examined. Studies were included if designs reflected high levels of evidence, participants demonstrated SI difficulties, and outcome measures addressed function or participation. Eight studies met inclusion criteria. Seven studies evaluated effects of specific sensory techniques for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Qigong massage, weighted vests, slow swinging, and incorporation of multisensory activities into preschool routines. One study of sensory environmental modifications examined adaptations to a dental clinic for children with ASD. Strong evidence supported Qigong massage, moderate evidence supported sensory modifications to the dental care environment, and limited evidence supported weighted vests. The evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions regarding slow linear swinging and incorporation of multisensory activities into preschool settings.