Purpose: Although measuring outcome of rehabilitation in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder is considered important no consensus exists on which instruments to use. An important attribute of a measurement instrument would be that it is sensitive to clinical changes. The aim of this prospective, observational study was therefore to investigate the responsiveness of six potentially suitable instruments.
Methods: Forty-one children (34 boys, median age 7.8 years, Inter Quartile Range: 7.2–9.2) receiving multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment for Developmental Coordination Disorder were included (mean treatment time: 32.8 h, Standard Deviation 7.3). The following instruments were applied before and after rehabilitation: Movement-Assessment-Battery-Children-2 (MABC-2), Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), Systematic detection writing problems (SOS-2-NL), DCD-daily, Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), and TNO-AZL children’s Quality of Life questionnaire (TACQOL)). Change-scores (paired t-test/Wilcoxon-test) and responsiveness (Effect-sizes and Standardized-Response-Means) were calculated.
Results: Significant differences over time were found for the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, DCDdaily and Movement-Asessment-Battery-Children-2 (p < 0.05). The responsiveness of these instruments was moderate-high (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure-performance Effect-Size:1.70/Standardized-Response-Mean:1.81, Canadian Occupational Performance Measure-satisfaction Effect-Size:1.65/Standardized-Response-Mean 1.53; DCDdaily-total-score Effect-Size:0.40/Standardized-Response-Mean:0.62, DCDdaily-Quality-score Effect-Size:0.74/Standardized-Response-Mean:0.89, DCDdaily-time-score Effect-Size:0.21/Standardized-Response-Mean:0.43; MABC-2-total-score Effect-Size:0.42/Standardized-Response-Mean:0.43, MABC-2-Ball-skills-score Effect-Size:0.33/Standardized-Response-Mean:0.36). Systematic detection of writing problems (SOS-2-NL), Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and TNO-AZL children’s Quality of Life questionnaire (TACQOL) were not responsive to change.
Conclusion: Although the Movement-Assessment-Battery-Children-2 test is the most widely used instrument when measuring rehabilitation outcome in Developmental Coordination Disorder, the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and DCDdaily seem to be more responsive and constitute a valuable addition.