Motor and cognitive performance in children with developmental coordination disorder: A scoping review of assessment tools and the role of technology

Abstract

Background: Cognitive and motor skills are critical components of our activities of daily living. Throughout childhood, the development of these skills is tightly linked (Land et al., 2013). Early assessment of these skills is crucial to capture any indications of functional delay that may incur due to atypical development (Cairney et al., 2007; Schoemaker et al., 2006); one such condition is developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Assessments of cognitive and motor function are often performed separately using different tools and tests, making results less generalizable to ecologically relevant or real-world settings that require highly integrated sensorimotor and cognitive control (Blank et al., 2019). Emerging technological advances may facilitate better, more integrated assessment tools for clinicians by providing highly accurate, precise, and objective assessments of cognitive and sensorimotor functions in typically and atypically developing school-aged children; at present we have a limited understanding of the frequency and type of technology currently used in clinical assessment tools. The purpose of this scoping review is to synthesize scientific knowledge regarding the use of tools in the clinical assessment of sensorimotor skills and cognitive function in school-aged children with DCD. Methods: The present review will retrieve sources from 1980 to April 26, 2023 in peer-reviewed databases, including PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycInfo. To be included, publications have to be intervention studies, randomized, non-randomized, and/or clinical trials and include: [1] children 7-18 years old diagnosed with DCD, [2] cognitive assessments and/or sensory function assessments, [3] technological and/or non-technical assessment tools, [4] assessments of motor skills/abilities, and [5] be written in the English, French, or German languages. Methods of assessment related to cognitive learning (e.g., dyslexia) are excluded. Information pertaining to the types of technology used, the sensory input tested, types of movements, assessment outcome variables, and the types of tests utilized will be extracted for analysis. Discussion: This review aims to determine how technology could be used to facilitate and modernize an integrated clinical assessment of cognitive, sensorimotor, and locomotor development; results and implications will be discussed.

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Keywords

Scoping Review, Children, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Cognitive, Motor, Sensory, Assessments, Performance, Technology, Tools, Movement, Locomotion, Gait, Balance, Coordination, Control (i.e., Object, Postural, Gait)

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