Objectives. Dementia is the disease most frequently leading to admission in long-term care institutions, primarily because persons with this disease exhibit several behavioral problems. The objective of this study was to measure the efficacy of the sensory integration program developed by Ross and Burdick in improving the functioning of persons with dementia.
Method. Forty subjects with dementia (28 women, 12 men, mean age of 78.4 years) in three different institutional settings in Quebec City, Canada, were randomly assigned to the study (n = 22) or control (n = 18) group. Subjects in the study group participated in three 45-min sessions of a sensory integration program per week for 10 weeks. Outcomes were measured using the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist and the Psychogeriatric Scale of Basic Activities of Daily Living.
Results. The sensory integration program had no significant effect on the behaviors of the study group.
Conclusion. Before this type of program is labeled inefficacious, other studies are necessary to determine whether modifying the frequency of sessions, the number of subjects, and the measuring instruments would lead to similar results.