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The effectiveness of pre-emptive sensory integration techniques in reducing physical restraints and seclusions for individuals in psychiatric settings

1 January 2011

Abstract

Results from the found research indicate that multisensory environments have an initial positive effect on individuals displaying maladaptive behaviours. Research also indicates that maladaptive behaviours which escalate to a level of unsafety often result in involuntary physical restraints and seclusions. It stands to reason that proactive use of multisensory interventions could decrease the manifestation of maladaptive behaviours that often result in physical restraints and seclusions. Occupational therapy has the unique ability to assess sensory needs that best meet the needs of the individual, maximizing the benefit of multisensory interventions.
How does sensory integration reduce the need for physical restraints and involuntary seclusion in individuals living in residential psychiatric treatment facilities?
Occupational therapy has the potential to reduce the need for physical restraints and seclusions for individuals living in residential psychiatric treatment facilities. Adults and children experiencing behavioural, psychological and emotional difficulties are subject to further trauma and injury when placed in physical restraints and involuntary seclusions. Multisensory environments hold promise for providing interactive and soothing stimuli that would decrease maladaptive behaviours that often result in unfavourable physical intervention. It is necessary to explore the long-term effects of multisensory environments, as well as methods for individualizing sensory stimuli to achieve optimal results.

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