Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Occupational Therapy

Advisor

Susan Noyes Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract

This evidence-based study investigated the relationship between sensory processing deficits and schizophrenia. A literature search of 7 databases using 9 search terms resulted in 10 high quality articles which best shape and illustrate the current information regarding the link between sensory processing and schizophrenia. Themes therein included atypical sensory processing, sensory gating deficits, auditory processing deficits, visual processing deficits, and smoking. It was found that people with schizophrenia process sensory information differently than neurotypical people, demonstrating deficits in the ability to filter out sensory stimuli. These deficits were correlated with a range of functional impacts, including decreased social participation. Surprisingly, our findings suggest that the smoking behaviors commonly observed in this population may actually provide strong psychophysiological benefits by significantly mitigating these sensory gating deficits in persons with schizophrenia. By furthering our understanding of this relationship, this study establishes a groundwork for further research into the use of sensory strategies and interventions to support the social participation and well-being of people with schizophrenia.

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