Question: ‘In an adult psychiatric population how effective is the use of sensory rooms / sensory integration / Snoezelen® when compared to self regulation in reducing distress and anxiety?’


The studies identified by this evidence summary do not provide sufficient data to support the clinical effectiveness of Snoezelen® or other multi-sensory interventions for reducing stress and anxiety in adult psychiatric populations. The majority of studies identified concluded that more research is needed in order to draw firm conclusions. One, very small, poor quality RCT reported improvements in agitation and apathy levels associated with the addition of multi-sensory behavioural therapy to standard psychiatric care in elderly psychiatric inpatients. However, no evidence was reported on whether these effects extend beyond the short term duration of study treatment. This study was intended as a pilot and could be viewed as supporting the need for further research.

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