Effectiveness of Auditory Interventions on Children's Attention, Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Auditory Discrimination
Sensory-based interventions are commonly used in occupational therapy practice to support children and youth with disabilities that may impact occupational performance. Auditory interventions are a specific sensory intervention centered around the use of sounds thought to create neural changes in the brain resulting in improved functional performance (Wink, McKeown, & Casey, 2017). Four occupational therapy research students collaborated with a local pediatric occupational therapist who was interested in obtaining updated evidence on auditory interventions with children. Researchers screened and systematically reviewed the literature to address the question, "Do auditory interventions improve self-regulation, engagement, auditory discrimination, and/or attention for children?" Upon completion of the literature review, researchers identified 12 articles for inclusion and found mixed or limited evidence to support the use of auditory interventions for each identified outcome. To improve the quality of research in this area, future studies should examine indications for use and intended outcomes of auditory interventions.
The limited evidence highlights the need for practitioners to have transparent conversations with families/caregivers to support the decision-making process. To support the collaborating practitioners' clinical practice, researchers developed and delivered an asynchronous in-service presentation of their findings and created an educational handout to be used to facilitate transparent conversations with families/caregivers in the clinic. A pre- and posttest survey assessed the effectiveness of the in-service and educational handout. After review of the surveys, statistically significant improvements regarding participant's knowledge and understanding of the current literature around auditory interventions were identified. These findings suggest the need for accessible and ongoing research to support evidence-based practice in the field of occupational therapy and practitioner's decision-making when implementing auditory interventions.
University of Puget Sound
Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Master of Science
University of Puget Sound
Brager, Victoria; Geller, Claira; Kresl, Jessica; and Waham, Emily, "Effectiveness of Auditory Interventions on Children's Attention, Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Auditory Discrimination" (2021). School of Occupational Master's Capstone Projects. 50.