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Commentary on “Are Spatiotemporal Gait Characteristics Reliable Outcome Measures in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder?”

Zipp, Genevieve Pinto PT, EdD; Crosby, Regina PT, MS, DPT

Pediatric Physical Therapy: April 2012 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 50
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31823e0aa8
Clinical Bottom Line

Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey

School-Based Consultants South Plairifield, New Jersey

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

“How should I apply this information?”

Given ihe increased prevalence of school-aged children presenting with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), the authors addressed a diagnostic group in much need of investigation. While the article describes impairments of motor coordination in children with DCD, it does noi provide the reader with a clear understanding of the overall primary and secondary impairments associated with DCD that affect the child's ability to actively participate in the community. The authors provide evidence from prior investigations that children when compared to adults present with more variability in their gait patterns. In addition, when children of the same age are compared to children with DCD, children with DCD are more variable in their gait patterns. Given the variability present in gait patterns of children with DCD one questions what theoretical framework or frame of reference might support the notion that assessing spatiotemporal parameters might provide an efficient and effective means by which to evaluate treatment efficacy.

The clinical bottom line supported by this work is that spatiotemporal parameters alone do not provide adequate information. Physical therapists should assess motor skills using age appropriate and clinically relevant standardized assessment tools such as the PDMS-2, BOTMP, TGMD-2 and the MABC in conjunction with spatiotemporal measures of gait to obtain a complete picture of the abilities and impairments influencing the child with DCD.

“What should I be mindful about in applying this information?”

The authors offer several limitations associated with this study, which require that physical therapists ask, “How might I use this information?” As with any study the limitations offer insight into methodological design needs for future research.

Genevieve Pinto Zipp, PT, EdD

Seton Hall University

South Orange, New Jersey

Regina Crosby, PT, MS, DPT

School-Based Consultants

South Plairifield, New Jersey

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.