The multi-disciplinary team of the Psychiatric Unit of Learning Disabilities developed the multi-sensory stimulation service, Kwai Chung Hospital in 1998. The service provides multi-sensory stimulation for in and outpatients from mild to profound grade of learning disabilities. Basically, the service includes the multi-sensory room (Snoezelen Room) started in 1998 and the Motion World, established in 2001.
The purpose of the multi-sensory stimulation service is to enable clients with learning disabilities to have appropriate and pleasurably sensory experiences generated in an atmosphere of relaxation and trust. When the environmental demands match with client's sensory needs, he or she will begin to experience increased personal autonomy, control and competency (Soper & Thorley, 1996). Besides, the team members also demonstrate to carers on proper way of delivery of multi-sensory stimulation so that it can be generalized into settings in community.
The Operation of the Multi-sensory Service
Referrals are mainly accepted from non-government organizations. The multidisciplinary team members assess client for his/her sensory needs and eligibility to join the service. Client with poorly controlled epilepsy or extreme challenging behaviour is excluded. A course consists of 4 one-hour sessions will be provided by the multidisciplinary team members over four consecutive weeks. An evaluation questionnaire is sent to the main carer at the last session and the result is discussed in the feedback meeting with the multi-disciplinary team members.
A retrospective study was conducted i n 2001 to assess the effectiveness of the multisensory service. 96 subjects who had attended at least one full course from 1998-2000 were included in the study. There were 8 items on measurement of effectiveness. The carers were asked to rate each item on 3 ratings: 'marked effect, slight effect and no effect'.
Results of Evaluation of Effectiveness of the Multi-sensory Service
There were 39 (40.6%) male and 57 (59.4%) female clients with age ranged from 16 to 60. Amongst them, 38.9% (n=28) had histo ry of external aggression and 43.1% had self-injurious behaviour and 8.3% (n=6) had both conditions. Marked effectiveness was showed in areas of relaxation (14.6%), enjoyment (24%), reduced aggression (10.7%) and decreased self-injurious behaviour (22.6%)
The multi-sensory stimulation service enables clients with learning disabilities to explore and fulfill some of their sensory needs. The service fosters teamwork and enhances collaboration with staff from non-government organizations. In order to strive for continuous quality improvement, another multi-sensory room known as the 'Motion World' was established in 2001. There is equipment for vestibular, proprioceptive stimulation and 4 game booths for a more comprehensive programme for clients with learning disabilities.
Protocols and practice guidelines are developed with regular staff training are carried out to further upgrade the standard of service.
[read more: http://www.ha.org.hk/haconvention/hac2002/free/f2-2.pdf ]