Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Project Chairperson

Sheryl Zylstra

Second Advisor

Renee Watling

Third Advisor

Maggie Hayes


Feeding therapy, Sensory-based, Children, Feeding challenges


This project was completed in collaboration with Hannah Michlmayer (OTR/L) at Therapy Services for Children in Seattle, Washington. The research team conducted a literature review to investigate the following question: For children ages 3-12 with sensory-based feeding challenges, what are the most effective interventions to improve dietary diversity and/or food acceptance? Evidence indicates that ABA-based interventions are the most studied, followed by video modeling and caregiver/parent training. These approaches demonstrate short-term increases in consumption and dietary variety. Most studies had small sample sizes with minimal long-term follow-up. There is a lack of research on group interventions, the SOS approach, and other sensory-based interventions (all used in OT practice). Further research in the following domains is strongly recommended: long-term follow-up studies, group feeding therapy approaches, sensory-based interventions, qualitative research, and higher level study designs.

Knowledge translation (KT) activities focused on helping the collaborator improve service delivery of the SOS method and data collection on its effectiveness. Current caregiver/parent education materials were modified to increase accessibility for families to track their child’s progress at home, and a home documentation log was created to facilitate more robust progress tracking over time. Generalizable conclusions about the effectiveness of each KT activity cannot be drawn due to the small sample size of feedback providers. However, feedback received indicates the home documentation log was understandable and easy to use for caregivers/parents, and an effective progress monitoring tool for the collaborator. Collaborator feedback also indicated increased accessibility of caregiver/parent education materials. This suggests potential for home documentation and caregiver/parent education materials to facilitate increased progress tracking and understanding of the SOS feeding approach.

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