OPEN Research Support
head

ph.d. student
Ann Natasja Nielsen
Department of Public Health, General Practice, University of Southern Denmark


Projekt styring
Projekt status    Planning
 
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.10.2018  
Slut 01.10.2021  
 



Effects of systematic proprioceptive-tactile stimulation with use of the Protac MyFit®

Short summary

The objective of the project is to investigate the effect of systematic proprioceptive-tactile stimulation with use of the Protac MyFit® vests on children with sensory processing difficulties in form of sensory seeking behavior. The objective is to determine the effect of systematic proprioceptive-tactile stimulation on the children´s abilities for participating in school activities, thereby potentially increasing the children's opportunities for learning. 


Rationale

Children who cannot properly process the sensory stimuli that they experience are often not able to sit still and focus their attention. Thereby the children have limited participation in school activities and are at risk of not benefiting from the learning activities. Sensory processing (SP) refers to the ability to, upon receiving sensory information, being able to regulate and organize responses in an adaptive and graded manner. SP is seen in two underlying constructs. A ‘neurological threshold' construct, describes how the nervous system reacts on sensory information based on the child's genetics and experiences. When reactions are fast and frequent it is described as ‘low threshold', whereas if the reaction is slow it is described as ‘high threshold'. Self-regulation is the other construct, which is a continuum of how the child handles sensory input. One end of the continuum is passive, where the child lets things happen around him and then reacts, whereas the opposite end is active, where the child engages and tries to control the sensory input he receives. Children who have a high threshold and an active approach to self-regulation are described as ‘seekers', they enjoy sensory input and will seek it out. Frequently sensory seeking behavior can interfere with children's ability to participate in activities. Key activities for children, aged 6-12, are play and learning, therefore their ability to participate in these activities, form the basis for their development. SP difficulties are known to affect children's ability to concentrate and learn while attending school. Studies suggest SP difficulties affect children's choice of, and participation in activities. To support children in getting the most out of school, intervention in the early school years is needed to minimize the risk of SP difficulties and later related difficulties. Studies have found a relationship between childhood SP difficulties, youth anxiety and adult obsessive-compulsive symptoms. A national report of health data in Denmark shows an increase in children struggling with anxiety and depression from 2354 in year 2006 to 7189 in year 2016, a focused effort could possibly minimize this increase. Research shows that children in primary school are at risk of having SP difficulties. Proprioceptive-tactile stimulation supports the underlying construct of SP on a subcortical level, which is a focused intervention for sensory seeking children.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the effect of systematic proprioceptive-tactile stimulation to children, age 6-12 years with SP difficulties regarding sensory seeking behavior. The primary objective is to determine the effect of the vest on the children´s abilities for participating in school activities, and secondary their attention-, concentration- and on-task behavior abilities. The MyFit® aims to provide the child with concentrated proprioceptive and tactile stimulation, which can be calming and give a distinct awareness of the body. This can provide the sensory stimulation that children with sensory seeking behavior seek and need to regulate their sensory processing ability.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

? Can systematic use of the MyFit® benefit children with sensory seeking behavior, to increase participation in school activities?

? Can systematic use of the MyFit® support children with sensory seeking behavior to increase their abilities for attention, concentration and on-task behavior?

? Can systematic use of the MyFit® have a calming effect on children with sensory seeking behavior?

? How do the children experience using the MyFit®?

? What is the optimal time use of the MyFit®? How long will the children need to wear the vest before experiencing effects of calmness and concentration, and over how long a period will the children have to use the vest before it has effect on their participating in school?


Description of the cohort

Children age 6-12 years with sensory processing difficulties attending ordinary school.


Data and biological material

Questionnaires, pulse, observational data and test results.


Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark

  • Lektor Åse Brandt

REHPA

  • Professor Karen la Cour

Protac A/S