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Occup Ther Int. 2013 Sep;20(3):144-54. doi: 10.1002/oti.1353. Epub 2013 May 21.

Prevalence of sensory modulation disorder among Puerto Rican preschoolers: an analysis focused on socioeconomic status variables.

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Occupational Therapy Program, School of Health Professions, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The purposes of this study were to determine the prevalence of sensory modulation disorder (SMD) in a sample of Puerto Rican preschoolers and to examine differences in the prevalence of SMD based on socioeconomic status (SES) variables. Caregivers of children from Head Start programs and private preschools were recruited from three regions in Puerto Rico (PR) to participate in the study. Each caregiver completed a Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and a demographic data sheet. Total scores on the SSP were used to establish diagnosis of SMD. The total sample included 141 participants (response rate of 64%). Prevalence of SMD among the total PR sample (19.9%) was higher than previously reported estimates on the US mainland (5-16%). Statistical results indicated no difference in the overall prevalence of SMD based on SES. However, significant differences in scores based on caregivers' educational degree were found on the SSP sub-domain of Movement sensitivity and Under-responsive/seeks sensation; differences in scores based on caregiver household income were also found for the SSP sub-domain of Under-responsive/seeks. Although SMD appears to be prevalent in preschoolers in PR, variables associated with SES do not appear to contribute to an overall SMD diagnosis. However, additional research linking specific sub-domains of SMD to SES variables may be warranted.


Puerto Rican preschoolers; Sensory Profile (Spanish version); sensory modulation disorder

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