Benchmarking therapists’ recommendations from ~600 families.

Did you ever wander if the sensory program you are recommending your clients is too intense? Too lite? How are other therapists setting up sensory based strategies? What can you tell families who complain it is too difficult to adhere to?

Therapy endeavors to impact areas of client’s life. Therapy outcome measures allows therapists to identify evidence based best practices. Achieving high quality care requires: good use of information, reduction of variation in care, involvement of individuals in care plans, dealing with poor performance and sharing good practice through learning by comparison and benchmarking (Enderby, John & Petheram 2013).

Interventions are personalized, yet we learn and motivate by comparison and benchmarking. Therapists can benefit from seeing what other therapists are doing, and families can benefit from knowing that other families in similar situations are able to cope. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell your clients that most families with sensory kids learn to handle as many as 4.5 sensory activities per day on average, and be able to back this up with data!

In this analysis we looked at 593 families using the SensoryTreat tool. Participants include subscribers to the system (not including users during free trial period). The data is based on actual usage of the SensoryTreat tool and not on survey. Data was gathered over a period of 2 years with the following geographic spread: 90.6% US, 1.8% India, 1.6% Australia, 1.3% Israel and South Africa (respectively), 0.7% UK and the rest of the countries have less than 0.5%.

Key findings:

Every family has 4.5 sensory activities per day (on average).

48% of the families have between 2-6 sensory activities per day (on average).

27% have just 1 and 25% have over 7 sensory activities per day (on average).

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Younger children (0-4) average more sensory activities per day.

Children ages 0-4 have 5.3 sensory activities per day (on average).

Children ages 5-10 have 4.3 sensory activities per day (on average).

Children ages 11+ have 4.1 sensory activities per day (on average).

 

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Conclusion

These findings teach us that most therapists find it useful to assign between 2 and 6 sensory activities per day; and that younger children (ages 0-4) are assigned more activities per day compared to older kids (age 5 or higher).

This benchmarking can help therapists learn by comparison. Knowing what other therapists are doing in similar situations can help distill confidence, especially with more novice therapists.

It can also assist in coaching families. By sharing with families what other families are doing and coping with, therapists can help families overcome objections.

 

References;

Enderby, P., John, A., & Petheram, B. (2013). Therapy outcome measures for rehabilitation professionals: speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy. John Wiley & Sons.

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Oren Steinberg is co-founder of SensoryTreat, providing a carryover empowerment platform for pediatric therapists and caregivers of children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.

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