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Visual Motor Integration in Children With Sickle Cell Disease

Newby, Robert F., PhD*; Epping, Amanda, MA*; Geiger, Jennifer A., PhD; Miller, Meghan S., MA*; Scott, John Paul, MD*

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: October 2018 - Volume 40 - Issue 7 - p 495–498
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001266
Original Articles

Background: Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) demonstrate deficits in cognitive and academic functioning. This study compared the visual motor integration (VMI) skills of children with SCD to non-SCD sibling controls.

Procedure: In total, 105 participants (67 patients with SCD, 38 controls) were recruited during a routine clinic visit. Each participant was administered the Grooved Pegboard Test, a test of manual dexterity and the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of VMI, a measure of graphomotor skills.

Results: Children with SCD demonstrated average (M=89.61, SE=3.08) fine manual dexterity and speed, but more complex fine motor functioning (graphomotor skills) (M=77.61, SE=1.65) was impaired. Relative to healthy siblings, children with SCD were not found to have different fine manual dexterity and speed (P=0.617). Patients with SCD were found to have significantly worse graphomotor skills (P=0.04).

Conclusions: Children with SCD were found to have average basic fine motor dexterity and speed, but impaired VMI, a more complex fine motor skill. This finding is significant given the functional importance of complex fine motor skills in early academic activities.

*Medical College of Wisconsin/Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Jennifer A. Geiger, PhD Community Neuropsychology PC, Louisville, CO

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: John Paul Scott, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, MFRC 3018, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (e-mail: jpscott@mcw.edu).

Received October 3, 2017

Accepted June 24, 2018

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