Cognitive impairment has a significant impact on the delivery of quality care in an inpatient physical setting. Services are seeking to explore alternative interventions and pathways of care to improve treatment and the quality of care provided for this client group. The application of sensory modulation principles in the treatment of people with cognitive impairment is one intervention gaining recognition and evidence in this arena. Sensory modulation uses the senses to change emotional states, mood and arousal levels. It has been found to be an effective treatment modality for people with cognitive impairment as it utilises bottom up rather than higher level cognitive processing to elicit an immediate response to stress and arousal levels, A number of studies (including Staal et al 2003, Padilla 2011 & King 2012) have shown that the use of sensory modulation for people with cognitive impairment has a positive effect on mood, promotes calm and relaxation, reduces negative behaviours such as agitation and aggression, reduces confusion and disorientation and promotes engagement in meaningful activities. This project involves undertaking a critical review of the literature, and assisting in the design of a pilot research project and preparation of an ethics application. 

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Student will gain skills in critiquing the literature, clinical project design and preparing an ethics application. The student will gain knowledge and skills in the assessment of sensory sensitivity.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from third or fourth year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy students or second year Master of Occupational Therapy Studies students enrolled at UQ. 

Project members

Emeritus Professor Jenny Strong

Emeritus Professor
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences