Use of weighted vests in pediatric occupational therapy practice

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2004;24(3):45-60. doi: 10.1300/j006v24n03_04.


The aim of this study was to investigate pediatric occupational therapists' general experience and practice with weighted vests and their impressions about whether weighted vests are effective in changing specific behaviors of children with whom they have used weighted vests. A survey was mailed to a random sample of 514 pediatric occupational therapists who belonged to the School-Based Systems Special Interest Section or the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The response rate was 68%. The survey included 43 items which covered therapist opinions, procedures, behavioral observations and knowledge about weighted vests, in addition to demographic information. Respondents who use weighted vests were more likely to have advanced degrees or certifications and more years of experience as pediatric therapists. They reported using weighted vests with preschool and young elementary school-aged children with the diagnoses of autism or attention deficit disorder. Staying on task, staying in seat and attention span were the most common behaviors that therapists reported improving when weighted vests were used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / rehabilitation*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clothing
  • Developmental Disabilities / rehabilitation*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Occupational Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United States