A Sensory Intervention to Improve Sleep Behaviours and Sensory Processing Behaviours of Children with Sensory Processing Disorder
Author ORCID Identifier
Geela Spira https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9551-2321
Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Purpose – This paper aims to investigate if a sensory intervention of moderate pressure touch of children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) affects sleep behaviours and sensory processing behaviours. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 50 children, aged 5–11 years with both SPD and sleep difficulties in Israel, were randomly divided into an experimental and a control group, nonblinded. Participants in the experimental group received three weeks of nightly massage by their parents, with a baseline week on both ends. Parents filled out questionnaires reporting on sensory and sleep behaviours and filled out a nightly sleep log. Parents determined outcome goals using goal attainment scoring. The assessment tools used were the short sensory profile and the child sleep habits questionnaire (Dunn, 1999; Owens et al., 2000). Findings – Significant improvement was found in the total and subgroup scores of sleep participation measures including sleep onset, sleep anxiety, parasomnias, sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, as well as the total sleep score (F (1,48) = 24.71, p < 0.001). Originality/value – Results of this study suggest that consistent application of moderate pressure touch as advised or trained by an occupational therapist may be used in clinical practice to improve sleep participation in children with SPD.
Spira, G. (2021), "A Sensory Intervention to Improve Sleep Behaviours and Sensory Processing Behaviours of Children with Sensory Processing Disorders", Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 11-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOT-09-2020-0014
Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy