Scott Weeks, B App Sc OT (Hons), PhD student; Dr Kobie Boshoff, B Occ Thy, B Sc Psyc (Hons), MA, PhD; Hugh Stewart, B App Sc OT, B Ed, M App SC OT; Prof Shona Kelly, BSC, PhD; Dr Chris B Della Vedova, BS, PhD
Background: There is an absence of high quality research to support the use of the Therapressure ProgramTM. This pilot study aimed at developing appropriate research protocols to investigate the effectiveness of the Therapressure ProgramTM on the stress response in children with sensory overresponsivity.
Method: A one-group pre-test/post-test repeated measures design was conducted using a convenience sample. Six children (6-8 years of age) with sensory overresponsivity received 14 consecutive days of the Therapressure ProgramTM by their parents at home. Parents concurrently collected salivary cortisol samples from their children.
Results: Children with sensory overresponsivity displayed both hyper- and hypo-cortisolism at baseline. All of the children’s cortisol levels shifted toward a normative range after intervention. Aspects have been identified related to the data collection protocol.
Conclusion: When testing children with sensory overresponsivity who are constantly activating their stress response system, we raise awareness of the need to check for both hyper- and hypo-cortisolism during statistical analysis. Preliminary pilot data may also show modulation of sympathetic arousal following the intervention. Further research is warranted and recommendations are made related to data collection protocols.
Weeks, S., Boshoff, K., Stewart, H., Kelly, S., & Della Vedova, C. B. (2016). Feasibility of a Research Protocol to Investigate the Effect of the TherapressureTM Program Using Salivary Cortisol. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1187