I wrote earlier of being "blown away" by the capabilities of the Interactive Metronome™ (IM) product. The literature shows that IM increases mental fluency which in turn increases the efficiency (and skill level) of many brain and body functions including motor planning. (See the TickTockBrainTalk blog and the IM site, for much more on this!)
There has been substantial research done on IM for children. (The article cited below finds that IM "appears to facilitate a number of capacities, including attention, motor control, and selected academic skills in boys with ADHD.) There are a few studies on the effects of IM on adults in rehabilitation recovering from varied disabilities such as stroke, TBI and loss of limb. None of the studies I've seen address softer issues such as stress, organization, or well-being.
I have launched a small research project studying the effects of the IM protocol on parents of children with special needs. It's a convenience study being done at Building Bridges therapy Center, where I work. I am asking the question: Does IM help parents of children with special needs become better organized such that they are better able to accomplish their goals. And does this is turn help reduce their stress levels? These parents operate at a very high level of challege and stress (lots 0f OT journal articles have documented this).
I may also look at another factor -- SI. Since many of the children at my clinic have autism and sensory integration issues, as a result, I may assess parents for sensory integration issues using the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile. If indeed they do, I wonder if any symptoms lessen at the end of the study....and if not, perhaps, I could re-enlist them in another short study with a different intervention. H-m-mm.
Shaffer, R. J., Jacokes, L. E., Cassily, J. E., Greenspan, S. L., Tuchman, R. E., & Stemmer, P. J., Jr. (2001). Effects of Interactive Metronome™ training on children with ADHD. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 155-162.
(This was copied from the IM site)
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a specific intervention, the Interactive MetronomeÒ, on selected aspects of motor and cognitive skills in a group of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The study included 56 boys, age 6 to 12 years, pre-diagnosed as having ADHD who were pre-tested and randomly assigned to one of three matched groups. The 19 children receiving 15 hours of Interactive MetronomeÒ rhythmicity training exercises were compared with a group receiving no intervention and a group receiving training on selected computer video games.
A statistically significant pattern of improvement across 53 of 58 variables favoring the Interactive Metronomeâ treatment was found. Additionally, several statistically significant differences were found among 12 factors on performance in areas of attention, motor control, language processing, reading, and parental reports of improvements in regulation of aggressive behavior.