Study designs of evaluations included in the review
All designs except case studies, single group-design studies, and laboratory-type stimulation studies were eligible for inclusion. At least 2 interventions had to be compared.
Specific interventions included in the review
Sensory Integration (SI) treatment versus no treatment or an alternative treatment. SI treatment was operationally defined as a treatment that aimed to enhance development of basic sensory integration processes with activities that provide vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, or other somatosensory inputs as modalities to elicit adaptive body responses.
Participants included in the review
Patients with learning disabilities, mental retardation, minor brain dysfunction, aphasia, motor delay and adult psychiatric patients, as well as patients at risk. The female-male ratio was approximately 1 to 6 for children and about 1 to 1 for adults. The majority of studies were of children with learning disabilities.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Outcome measures were classified into five categories: psycoeducational, behaviour, language, motor, and sensory-perceptual. The classification of outcomes was submitted to five expert judges and agreement rates are reported.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Inclusion criteria were that the studies:
1. Investigated the effect of treatment using SI approaches.
2. Reported a comparison of at least 2 conditions.
3. Reported findings and results in a manner that allowed quantitative analysis.
4. Reported the outcome measures in the broad categories of academic skills, motor function, behaviour, language function, and sensorimotor function.
The authors do not state how many of the authors performed the selection.