AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe the use of multi-sensory interventions in residential aged care services (RACS) for the management of dementia-related behaviours in residential aged care in Victoria, Australia. BACKGROUND: The popularity of multi-sensory interventions has spread worldwide, including for use in residential aged care, despite limited evidence to support their efficacy. DESIGN: This study reports the findings of the first stage of a two-stage project that was undertaken to describe and evaluate the use of multi-sensory interventions for the management of dementia-related behaviours in all residential aged care facilities in Victoria, Australia. METHODS: A computer-assisted telephone interview survey was developed and administered to residential aged care facilities in Victoria, Australia, to collect descriptive data on the use of multi-sensory interventions for the management of dementia-related behaviours. RESULTS: A diverse and eclectic range of multi-sensory interventions are currently being used by residential aged care facilities. The findings suggest the use of multi-sensory interventions are used in an ad hoc manner, and there is no universal definition of multi-sensory interventions, little formal training for staff administering the interventions and no guideline for their use, nor evaluation of their impact on residents' behaviour. CONCLUSION: Multi-sensory interventions have been widely adopted for use in RACS in Victoria, Australia, and are currently being used without formal guidelines and little evidence to support their use in clinical practice. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: In the absence of a formal definition of what constitutes a multi-sensory intervention, training for staff and careful assessment and monitoring of residents who receive multi-sensory interventions, we recommend further research and development of policy and procedures to safe guard the use of multi-sensory interventions for people with dementia.