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Abstract

Prevalence of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is high (6-13% of all school children) and the negative impact of their movement difficulties on their participation in recreation and academic pursuits is well documented. This secondary research systematically reviewed the available literature for evidence of effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve the movement capability of children with DCD. Specified databases were searched for appropriate studies, these were retrieved and two reviewers appraised the level and quality of evidence. Thirty one studies were included between levels I and III-3 of the NH & MRC protocol. Scoring using an established critical appraisal tool demonstrated variable quality. Meta-analysis was not possible due to the clinical heterogeneity of the primary studies. A best evidence synthesis of results was conducted, producing clear evidence that no intervention has poor results when compared to any intervention. The high number of purportedly different interventions and variable quality make definitive conclusions about the merits of specific approaches difficult. There may be generic qualities or factors in the studied interventions that are more important for effectiveness than specific content. More information is needed on the underlying mechanisms of DCD, factors influencing effectiveness and the broader pragmatics of intervention delivery.

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