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Snoezelen survey study

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foto: 's Heeren Loo

What does an appropriate and effective snoezelen approach for persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) look like? We have started a project to find an answer to this question. Through the use of a questionnaire we would like to gain insight into the application of snoezelen in persons with PIMD. We would like to ask you, as coordinator, to help us reach participants. We are looking for caregivers, therapists, teachers, teacher assistants and/or parents/relatives who currently use snoezelen with one or more persons with PIMD. 

Coming soon: information about survey study in english, german and espanol.

The questionnaire is expected in early February | Der Fragebogen wird Anfang Februar erwartet  | El cuestionario está previsto para principios de febrero.


Survey study - Deutsche 

Der Fragebogen wird Anfang Februar erwartet

Survey study - Espanol 

El cuestionario está previsto para principios de febrero.

Survey study - English

The questionnaire is expected in early February 

About snoezelen 

This study uses a broad definition of snoezelen. Snoezelen was developed in the Netherlands and described by Mr. J. Hulsegge and Mr. A. Verheul, at that time employed at ‘s Heeren Loo De Hartenberg.

Snoezelen concerns offering sensory stimuli (stimuli that you can hear, see, feel, smell and taste). This sometimes takes place in a specially equipped snoezelen room, but can also be applied in a different way.

For your participation in the study, it does not matter in what manner or environment you use snoezelen or how often you use snoezelen.

Although snoezelen is used in different target groups, this project specifically focuses on the application of snoezelen in persons with PIMD. Persons with PIMD have profound or severe intellectual disabilities (estimated IQ below 25 points or testing of IQ is not possible) and a profound or severe motor disability. Sensory impairments and health problems also frequently occur in these persons.

The study is conducted by the Academic Collaborative Center related to people with PIMD (ACC-PIMD). This a Dutch partnership between the University of Groningen, 's Heeren Loo (healthcare provider), Hanze University of Applied Sciences,

Information targetgroup

Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities (PIMD) 

Key Characteristics persons with PIMD

  • Severe or profound intellectual disability, which makes it impossible to give a valid estimation of their IQ with existing instruments.
  • Severe or profound motor disability, which makes their ability to move around and use their arms, hands and legs independently severely limited.     

Additional characteristics

  • Non-verbal way of communicating which can be very subtle and/or is often difficult to interpret and little or no apparent understanding of verbal language
  • Sensory impairments frequently occur, such as visual and auditory impairments and problems in processing tactile and olfactory (smell and taste) stimuli
  • Health problems frequently occur such as epilepsy, chronic pulmonary infections, obstipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease and problems regarding eating and drinking
  • Due to the complexity of the problems, use of medication is often high, and (chronic) pain, behavioral problems (self-injurious, stereotype and withdrawn behavior), sleeping problems and problems with alertness occur often.

It is important to note that within this group of persons with PIMD, there is a large diversity in individual impairments and abilities. However, what these persons all have in common is dependence on others for all aspects of daily life, during 24 hours per day, seven days a week. 


Nakken, H. & Vlaskamp, C. (2007). A need for taxonomy for profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Journal of policy and practice in intellectual disabilities, 4(2), 83-87.

Van der Putten, A., Vlaskamp, C., Luijkx, J. & Poppes, P. (2017). Kinderen en volwassenen met zeer ernstige verstandelijke en meervoudige beperkingen: tijd voor een nieuw perspectief [Children and adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities: time for a new perspective]. Research Centre EMB: Groningen and Visio (healthcare provider and centre of expertise for partially sighted and blind people).

Over de onderzoeker

Lees meer over Gemma Testerink

Gemma Testerink

Scientist Practitioner
's Heeren Loo

Wat doe je binnen de Academische Werkplaats EMB?

Binnen de Academische Werkplaats EMB ben ik aangesteld als scientist-practitioner: ik werk deels als onderzoeker en deels als ergotherapeut bij ’s Heeren Loo. Samen met Gerdine Douma en Masoud Salavati doe ik onderzoek naar de effecten van snoezelen. Snoezelen wordt in de praktijk veel gebruikt, maar we weten nog te weinig over de effecten.

Wat wil je bereiken?

Een effectieve en praktische vorm van snoezelen die we kunnen aanbieden aan mensen met EMB. Ik vind het mooi en belangrijk om onderzoek te doen naar activiteiten en omgevingen, die de mogelijkheid bieden aan mensen met EMB om nieuwe ervaringen op te doen, te leren en plezier te beleven.

Andere onderzoeken van Gemma Testerink