Occupational therapy, along with other health and rehabilitation professions, is experiencing an increased emphasis on measurement of intervention outcomes. The results of outcomes research are being used to develop practice guidelines, set standards for reimbursement, and justify health care policy. The outcome assessments used by therapists reflect our belief systems and the assumptions about behaviors we expect to influence. Using a sensory integration perspective to illustrate key points, we present a conceptual framework that is based on the disablement framework and Coster’s occupational functioning for children model. We highlight the need to examine each of the multiple levels at which intervention may influence child and family function and the links among levels. Sensory integration theory and efficacy studies are reviewed to identify assumptions relative to how sensory integration affects the everyday occupations of children in the context of their families. Potential research methods and assessments are suggested to include the family perspective in outcome studies.

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