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Title: Multi-sensory therapy in psychiatric care
Authors: Baillon, Sarah
van Diepen, Erik
Prettyman, Richard
First Published: Nov-2002
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists with Maney Publishing
Citation: Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 2002, 8 (6), pp. 444-450
Abstract: Given the ever-increasing popularity of this new activity, it is important that further systematic research is undertaken to provide evidence regarding the efficacy of multi-sensory therapy in all of the fields of care in which it is currently being used. It remains to be established whether conventional relaxation techniques or other approaches (such as enhancing the sensory experiences of the everyday environment) could be as effective in achieving the same benefits. The reported benefit that multi-sensory therapy may be useful in reducing behavioural problems has important implications in view of the limited efficacy of pharmacological treatment for these symptoms (Schneider, 1996), which have been shown (e.g. Kaufer et al, 1998; Haupt & Kurz, 1993) to cause the most distress in cares of those with dementia and contribute greatly to the decision to place patients in long-term residential care. Some people fell that the current lack of empirical evidence fails to justify the widespread use and expense of multi-sensory facilities and there is a clear need to prove that patients do benefit from multi-sensory therapy and are not just passive recipients of the intervention (Woodrow, 1998). It is perhaps worth noting, however, that many interventions (such as reminiscence, reality orientation and validation therapy) which are long-established and widely used in dementia care also lack a background of rigorous research evidence. The research literature into the relative merits of multi-sensory therapy may not be substantial, but it does indicate support for the large amount of anecdotal evidence which claims that this activity is an effective and appropriate therapeutic intervention for people in mental health care.
DOI Link: 10.1192/apt.8.6.444
ISSN: 1355-5146
eISSN: 1472-1481
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2002, Royal College of Psychiatrists. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: This is an author-produced electronic version of an article accepted for publication in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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