Snoezelen: A controlled multi-sensory stimulation therapy for children recovering from severe brain injury

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Objective: To investigate the effects of Snoezelen therapy on physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes in children recovering from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Methods: An observational study was conducted to assess the physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes of children recovering from severe TBI while receiving Snoezelen therapy. Fifteen subjects completed the pre- and post-Snoezelen treatment measurements computed over 10 consecutive sessions. Physiological, cognitive and behavioural measures were administered. Data was collected prospectively on each session in the Snoezelen room and were analysed by calculating the difference between pre- and post-treatment measurements for each Snoezelen session.

Results: Results revealed significant changes on physiological measures. Heart rates decreased for each subject in each treatment session and were found to be significant (p = 0.032). Muscle tone was decreased in all the affected extremities (right upper extremity p = 0.009, left upper extremity p = 0.020, right lower extremity p = 0.036 and left lower extremity p = 0.018). Agitation levels decreased over time and the overall cognitive outcome measures showed significant improvement when comparing the beginning of treatment with the end.

Conclusion: This study revealed a beneficial use of Snoezelen therapy with children recovering from severe brain injury. However, there continues to be a critical need for evidenced-based research for this patient population and others in this multi-sensory environment.


By: Gillian A. Hotz, PhD, Andrea Castelblanco, Isabel M. Lara, Alyssa D. Weiss, Robert Duncan and John W. Kuluz


2006, Vol. 20, No. 8 , Pages 879-888

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