Ilse Achterberg
  • Richard Prettyman
  • Multi-sensory therapy is an activity which usually takes place in a dedicated room where patients experience a range of unpatterned visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile stimuli ( Baker et al, 1997). These rooms are designed to create a feeling of comfort and safety, where the individual can relax, explore and enjoy the surroundings (Fig 1 .).


    Jason Staal, Psy.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY NY, U.S.A.


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


    Objectives. Regular access to a multi-sensory environment (MSE or Snoezelen room) was compared with a non-complex sensory environment for individuals with learning disabilities. We also tested the prediction that those individuals whose challenging behaviour was maintained by sensory consequences would benefit most from exposure to the MSE.

    This paper examines the utilization of multi-sensory rooms as an adjunct to the care of older people with dementia. Their evolution into the field of dementia care is explored and analysed. The degree to which the aims of therapy can be realized is addressed in terms of process issues experienced whilst utilizing the therapy in practice. These are initiation of therapy, transfer of patients, selection of patients and resources. On the basis of these findings recommendations are offered, the focus of which is the active promotion of such therapy within the remit of trained nursing staff.

    Kevin Hope MA (Gerontology) BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies RGN RMN Cert Ed RNT*

    Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008

    DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1997.1997025780.x

    If you want to read more, click here


    WorldWideSnoezelen has many users all over the world. We wish everyone a very nice en lovely Christmas and a blessed, carefull and a beautifull Snoezelen year. 

    Helen Mount, Head of Language and Communication at Mont VaroufSchool, Guernsey, and Judith Cavet, a senior lecturer in social work at Staffordshire University, stress the need for a critical evaluation of multi-sensory environments. The paucity of relevant, rigorous research and the lack of focus on educational benefits is highlighted.




    The past 15 years have seen a marked increase in the use of Snoezelen with a wide range of groups including people with intellectual disabilities. Research has been undertaken with respect to a variety of behaviors, notably changes in affect, challenging behavior, relaxation and interactions with both other persons and objects.

    This paper reports on the findings of an initial evaluation of the effects of exposing older people with dementia to a multisensory environment. Data collected about 29 patients demonstrated that this was generally a positive experience in terms of response to equipment and effect on behaviour.


    The Graduate School of Education,

    The authors are grateful to Dr. B. Brown of the School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology, who helped with the construction of the isotropic photographic system. They also thank the children, parents and teachers who contributed to the study and the Australian National Health & Medical Research Council and The Australian Research Grants Scheme for grants supporting the longitudinal study of Down syndrome.

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