Sensory processing difficulties in psychiatric disorders: A meta-analysis

Frank van den Boogert, Katharina Klein, Pascalle Spaan, Bram Sizoo, Yvonne H.A. Bouman, Witte J.G. Hoogendijk, Sabine J. Roza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
294 Downloads (Pure)


In clinical practice, many individuals with psychiatric disorders report difficulties in sensory processing, including increased awareness or sensitivity to external stimuli. In this meta-analysis, we examined the sensory processing patterns of adolescent and adult individuals with a broad spectrum of different psychiatric conditions. A systematic search in various databases resulted in the inclusion of 33 studies (N=2008), all using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). By comparing diagnostic subgroups to the corresponding reference group of the AASP, we detected a general pattern of sensory processing, indicating elevated levels of low registration, sensory sensitivity and sensory avoiding and lowered sensory seeking behavior in patients with different types of psychiatric disorders. The majority of effect sizes were large to very large. In conclusion, sensory processing difficulties can be considered as a non-specific transdiagnostic phenotype associated with a broad spectrum of psychiatric conditions. Further research into the relevance and role of sensory processing difficulties in psychiatric disorders may improve long-term prognosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Erasmus MC Medical Library for their expert support in our search for relevant literature.

Funding Information:
Financial support was provided by Stichting Vrienden van Oldenkotte, Deventer, the Netherlands (Grant: FORETECH). The sponsor had no involvement in study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


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