Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Project Chairperson

Renee Watling

Second Advisor

Maggie Hayes


Mental health, Sensory Interventions, Adult


This systematic review aimed to answer the following question: What are effective sensory-based interventions that increase self-regulation skills and decrease maladaptive behaviors for adults in inpatient mental health settings? Researchers collaborated with local occupational therapy practitioner, Katrina LaRossa, from a Multicare Behavioral Health Hospital in Western Washington. Sixteen articles met the inclusion criteria and were rigorously reviewed and categorized by the researchers. Evidence from the literature indicates that sensory-based interventions can be an inexpensive and effective method to reduce agitation and maladaptive behaviors.

The knowledge translation project involved development of a guide that provided implementation strategies for the sensory-based interventions identified in the research process. The implementation guide was organized in a binder, and included the implementation methods, outcomes, credibility, cost breakdown, and special considerations for each sensory-based intervention, as well as the article itself. To monitor the impact of our knowledge translation project, a survey was conducted to measure the clinician’s perception and satisfaction with the implementation guide. Researchers recommend that future research focuses on sensory-based interventions for adults in inpatient mental health and that studies take into account restrictions that are typical for inpatient mental health.

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