Monday, April 29, 2013

Sensory Modulation Disorder and Behavior Symptoms

Child Psychiatry and Human Development published research on the role of sensory modulation deficits and behavioral symptoms in a diagnosis for young children.  Using clinical observation 78 toddlers were divided into two groups: 18 toddlers with regulation disorders of sensory processing and 60 toddlers with other diagnoses. The parents completed the Infant Toddler Sensory Profile and the Achenbach Checklist.  The results indicated the following:
  • the group with regulation disorders of sensory processing exhibited more severe sensory modulation deficits and behavioral symptoms
  • a strong association although not significant was seen between most sensory and behavioral symptoms
  • more significant sensory modulation deficits were seen in the group with regulation disorders of sensory processing
The researchers concluded that the findings support the validity of a regulation disorders of sensory processing diagnosis. 

I only read the abstract for this study but am confused as to how this research was conducted.  The way I read it is that the researchers used clinical observation to "diagnose" a child with Regulation Disorders of Sensory Processing and then based on parental report checked if they were correct?  If that interpretation is accurate I am perplexed as to how this supports the validity of a sensory processing diagnosis.  Please someone enlighten me...

Reference:  Ruth Pérez-Robles, Eduardo Doval, Ma Claustre Jané, Pedro Caldeira da Silva, Ana Luisa Papoila, Daniel Virella. The Role of Sensory Modulation Deficits and Behavioral Symptoms in a Diagnosis for Early Childhood. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. June 2013, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 400-411


Chris J. Alterio said...

Sounds like a research design that is rife with confirmation bias, but it is hard to be sure from the abstract alone. I ordered the article through Iliad and will let you know once I give it a solid read.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Thank you. Let me know what you come up with.

Chris J. Alterio said...

I went through the article. They used the ITSP and CBCL and did a regression analysis to compare two clinical groups. Weaknesses in the study that make their findings difficult to interpret include small sample size and in particular use of a regression model with very constricted data sets. Additionally, the measures used are parental report measures and their is known confounding between sensory and behavioral 'symptoms' in these assessment classifications. Finally, they used the DC 0-3r which based its diagnostic system on informed clinical opinion and without and standard process to ensure reliability and validity of their classifications. In a nutshell, they are using parent reports to correlate a non-validated diagnostic system on a very small sample. In my view, that makes this all rather interesting, but not particularly useful in its current stage of development and analysis.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Thanks Chris for the more in depth analysis of the article.