Systematic review of the research evidence examining the effectiveness of interventions using a sensory integrative approach for children

Am J Occup Ther. 2010 May-Jun;64(3):403-14. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2010.09071.


Twenty-seven studies were systematically reviewed to identify, evaluate, and synthesize the research literature on the effectiveness of sensory integration (SI) intervention on the ability of children with difficulty processing and integrating sensory information to engage in desired occupations and to apply these findings to occupational therapy practice. Results suggest the SI approach may result in positive outcomes in sensorimotor skills and motor planning; socialization, attention, and behavioral regulation; reading-related skills; participation in active play; and achievement of individualized goals. Gross motor skills, self-esteem, and reading gains may be sustained from 3 mo to 2 yr. Findings may be limited by Type II error because of small sample sizes, variable intervention dosage, lack of fidelity to intervention, and selection of outcomes that may not be meaningful to clients and families or may not change with amount of treatment provided. Replication of findings with methodologically and theoretically sound studies is needed to support current findings.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy
  • Motor Skills
  • Occupational Therapy / methods
  • Perceptual Disorders / therapy*
  • Sensation Disorders / therapy*