Quality of life domains affected in children with developmental coordination disorder: a systematic review.

Research paper by J G JG Zwicker, S R SR Harris, A F AF Klassen

Indexed on: 21 Apr '12Published on: 21 Apr '12Published in: Child: Care, Health and Development


The quality of life (QOL) of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is largely unknown, but evidence suggests that multiple QOL domains are affected by the disorder. While DCD is primarily considered a motor disorder, multiple studies have reported psychological and social concerns in children with this condition. Our primary aim was to present the current state of the evidence regarding the physical, psychological, and social QOL domains that can be affected in children with DCD. Systematic review of articles from seven databases through November 2010 (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, CDSR, DARE) was conducted. Search terms included developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia, quality of life, life satisfaction, well-being, activities of daily living, and participation. Two independent reviewers screened titles, abstracts, and full-text articles. Studies meeting the following criteria were selected: (1) sample comprised solely of individuals with coordination difficulties consistent with DCD; (2) outcome measures related to physical, psychological, or socials domains of QOL; and (3) articles published in English. Data were extracted by one author and verified by a second. Outcomes were categorized according to physical, psychological and social domains of QOL and study quality was rated by case definitions of DCD based on diagnostic criteria as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - 4th edition. Forty-one articles were included. Most studies reported significantly poorer results in physical, psychological and social functioning in children with DCD compared with peers. Despite the impact of DCD on multiple domains, only one study used a QOL measure as an outcome. Although DCD impacts several QOL domains, the QOL of children with this disorder remains largely unknown. The next critical step is for clinicians and researchers to use QOL measures to gather information on how DCD may affect the QOL of children with this disorder.