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The Clinimetric Properties of Performance-Based Gross Motor Tests Used for Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder: A Systematic Review

Slater, Leanne M. BPhty (Hons); Hillier, Susan L. PhD; Civetta, Lauren R. BPhty (Hons), Grad Dip Pub Hlth

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181dbeff0
Review Article

Purpose: Performance-based measures of gross motor skills are required for children with developmental coordination disorder to quantify motor ability and objectify change. Information related to psychometrics, clinical utility, feasibility, and client appropriateness and acceptability is needed so that clinicians and researchers are assured that they have chosen the most appropriate and robust tool.

Methods: This review identified performance-based measures of gross motor skills for this population, and the research evidence for their clinimetric properties through a systematic literature search.

Results: Seven measures met the inclusion criteria and were appraised for their clinimetric properties. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children and the Test for Gross Motor Development (second version) scored highest on appraisal.

Conclusions: The 2 highest scoring measures are recommended in the first instance for clinicians wishing to evaluate gross motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder. However, both measures require further testing to increase confidence in their validity for this population.

This systematic review of the properties of measures used to document motor performance in children with DCD indicates the 2 best measures available for use by clinicians and researchers: the M-ABC and the TGMD-2.

Centre for Allied Health Evidence, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Correspondence: Susan L. Hillier, PhD, Centre for Allied Health Evidence, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia (City East), GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia (

This systematic review was completed as partial fulfillment of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honors by Leanne Slater (Nee Plummer) at the University of South Australia.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.