The benefits of sensory modulation on levels of distress for consumers in a mental health emergency setting

Karen Adams-Leask, Lisa Varona, Charu Dua, Michael Baldock, Adam Gerace, Eimear Muir-Cochrane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: This paper reports a pilot study exploring the benefits of offering sensory modulation within a mental health emergency setting for consumers experiencing distress during a psychiatric presentation. Methods: Seventy-four consumers with a mental health presentation reported on their sensory modulation use experiences during their stay in a South Australian tertiary teaching hospital emergency department. An evaluation form was used to document use of items, self-reported distress pre and post sensory modulation use, and other consumer experiences. Results: Consumers used between one and six sensory items for a median duration of 45 min. There was a statistically significant reduction (t(73) = 15.83, p <.001) in self-reported distress post sensory modulation use, and consumers also reported that use was helpful, distracting, calming and assisted in managing negative emotions and thoughts. Conclusions: The results demonstrate the potential value of sensory-based interventions in reducing behavioural and emotional dysregulation in an emergency setting whilst also promoting consumer self-management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-519
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • distress
  • emergency department
  • least restrictive practice
  • mental health
  • sensory modulation

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