Graduation Date

5-2018

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR/L

First Reader

Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR/L

Second Reader

Jamie Close, OTR/L

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of sensory diets in the field of occupational therapy. This study investigated the use of sensory diets among California occupational therapy practitioners. A mixed-methods design was used to collect data through an online survey. The survey was sent out to members of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) and received 98 respondents within one month. Participants worked among various clinical settings and implemented sensory diets with various client populations. Practitioners reported using terms such as “sensory strategies,” “sensory tools,” and “sensory supports” which indicates an overall misunderstanding associated with the term “sensory diet.” An alternative name that is more easily understandable and used universally would help decrease confusion among clinicians and clients. Further research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of sensory diets and how they are implemented.

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