Sensory-based therapies are designed to address sensory processing difficulties by helping to organize and control the regulation of environmental sensory inputs.
These treatments are increasingly popular, particularly with children with behavioral and developmental disabilities.
However, empirical support for sensory-based treatments is limited. The purpose of this review was to conduct a comprehensive and methodologically sound evaluation of the efficacy of sensory-based treatments for children with disabilities.
Methods for this review were registered with PROSPERO (CRD42012003243). Thirty studies involving 856 participants met our inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Considerable heterogeneity was noted across studies in implementation, measurement, and study rigor.
The research on sensory-based treatments is limited due to insubstantial treatment outcomes, weak experimental designs, or high risk of bias.
Although many people use and advocate for the use of sensory-based treatments and there is a substantial empirical literature on sensory-based treatments for children with disabilities, insufficient evidence exists to support their use.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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