Importance: Parent training is an essential part of occupational therapy intervention for children with sensory processing and sensory integration (SP–SI) challenges, and parents’ learning needs should be considered.
Objective: To identify the extent to which adult learning needs are considered in occupational therapy literature addressing parent training as a part of intervention for children with SP–SI challenges.
Data Sources: Searches were performed of the following databases: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, EMBASE, and ERIC. The date range was limited to 1990 to 2019 to capture literature focused on family-centered care.
Study Selection and Data Collection: Using Arksey and O’Malley’s framework for scoping reviews and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews Checklist, the following criteria were used to guide the literature searches: population (parents and families of children with SP–SI challenges), intervention (parent training), outcomes (parent learning needs), and concept (parents as adult learners).
Findings: Searches produced 133 peer-reviewed articles, and 5 met the criteria for inclusion. Qualitative thematic analysis, including stakeholder interviews, revealed two themes: (1) Parents focus on children’s needs, not their own, and (2) parents benefit from connection with peers and learn through shared experiences.
Conclusions and Relevance: Parent training is an essential component of occupational therapy; however, there is limited occupational therapy evidence examining parents’ learning needs, specifically parents of children with SP–SI challenges. Future studies should investigate parents’ learning needs in relation to occupational therapy intervention for families of children with SP–SI challenges.
What This Article Adds: Parents’ learning needs are both rarely considered in the occupational therapy literature and important for best practice in pediatric therapy for children with SP–SI challenges. The results of this scoping review point to the need for further investigation of parent training programs specifically examining parents as adult learners.