Sofia G. Monastiridi, Ermioni S. Katartzi, Maria G. Kontou, Thomas Kourtessis, Symeon P. Vlachopoulos


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is an impairment in the development of motor coordination creating varied problems and difficulties in children’s and adolescent’s daily life activities. As a result, the avoidance of participating in physical activity leads in low levels of fitness and also in secondary social and emotional problems. Fitness levels in children and adolescents with DCD have been recognized as an important factor which influences their performance in daily activities and has a positive impact on their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Surveys showed that every domain in HRQOL (motor, cognitive, emotional, social) is significantly lower in children with DCD compared to their peers. These data showed that intervention is very important for improving motor skill performance and HRQOL, too, in children and adolescents with DCD. The present study aimed to systematically review the literature published in peer reviewed journals and to summarize information about possible relationships between intervention approaches focused on physical fitness and exercise, participation in physical activity and HRQOL, in children and adolescents with DCD. Studies which examined the effect of fitness and exercise intervention programs on motor competence and HRQOL in children and adolescents with DCD were also, included. The review of the literature has shown that several intervention programs developed for DCD population, focusing to improve motor ability, derived from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, medicine, dietetics and education scientific areas. Generally, the present review focused on two basic approaches in clinical practice regarding intervention programs for DCD individuals: task-oriented and process-oriented approach. The task-oriented approach aims to improve the performance of a specific skill and on the other hand the process-oriented approach aims to identify the underlying processes or dysfunctions which the individual has not developed adequately according to his/her age, although they are considered to be necessary for successful performance and acquisition of motor skills. Children and adolescents with DCD seemed to report poorer ΗRQOL than their typically developing peers. However, HRQOL in children and adolescents with DCD needs further investigation. In addition, there is a need of research in interventions focused on fitness and exercise programs with an ultimate goal to improve motor ability and HRQOL too; through participation in such interventions children and adolescents with DCD, may be possible to break the negative cycle of physical activity avoidance, reversing it to a positive one. It is concluded that, there are possible positive relationships between fitness and exercise intervention programs, motor competence and HRQOL in children and adolescents with DCD. Future research should focus on examining whether and how such interventions may eliminate functional constraints leading to an engagement in the positive cycle of physical activity, with a further improvement in HRQOL in DCD population.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejpe.v0i0.2911


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