Self and caregiver report measurement of sensory features in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review of psychometric properties

Jaclyn Gunderson, Emma Worthley, Breanne Byiers, Frank Symons, Jason Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Unusual responses to sensory stimuli are considered a diagnostic symptom of autism spectrum disorder with mounting research efforts put towards understanding, characterizing, and treating such symptoms. Methods: This paper examines self and caregiver report tools used to measure sensory features in ASD through a systematic review of the psychometric evidence for their use. A total of 31 empirical papers were reviewed across 20 assessment tools. Substantial differences were identified in the specific sensory features defined across assessment tools. Sensory assessment questionnaires were evaluated against quality psychometric evidence criteria to provide a use recommendation. Results: Five assessments were identified to be “appropriate with conditions,” while no sensory assessment tools were identified to have sufficient quality psychometric evidence to provide a recommendation of “Appropriate” for measuring sensory features in ASD. Conclusion: Evidence from this review highlights potentially significant shortcomings among the current methods used to measure sensory features in ASD and suggests the need for more efforts in developing psychometrically sound sensory assessment tools for use in ASD populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalJournal of neurodevelopmental disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thank you to the University of Minnesota’s College of Education & Human Development Research Methodology Consulting Center (RMCC) and Rik Lamm for quality criteria guidance as well as Amy Regalman for consultation in systematic review methodology.

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health under award number R01-MH116961 and R01-HD44763. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Assessment
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Sensory
  • Sensory responsivity
  • Systematic review

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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