Motor abilities of children and adolescents with a psychiatric condition : a systematic literature review
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
Human medicine
Source (journal)
World journal of psychiatry
5(2015) :3 , p. 315-329
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
University of Antwerp
AIM: To summarize research regarding the motor abilities of children and adolescents who suffer from a common psychiatric condition. METHODS: In order to outline the current knowledge regarding the motor abilities of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) and depression, a comprehensive systematic literature search was carried out using PubMed, Medline and ERIC databases. The databases were searched for relevant English language articles published between January 1990 and April 2014. Only studies that conducted a quantitative evaluation of motor ability and concerned individuals aged 0-18 years were included. A separate search was conducted for each disorder (ASD, ADHD, DBD, depression) in conjunction with each of the following keywords: (psycho/perceptuo) motor/movement skill(s), (psycho/perceptuo) motor/movement abilities, (psycho/perceptuo) motor/movement impairment, (psycho/perceptuo) motor/movement problem(s), motor function, motor coordination, motor performance, motor deficit(s). To detect supplementary relevant literature, the reference lists of the retrieved articles were examined. RESULTS: The search strategy yielded 51 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. In total, 28 studies were included that examined the motor abilities of children and adolescents with ASD. All studies indicated that they performed below average on various standardized motor assessment instruments. The overall prevalence rate for impairment in motor abilities ranged from 33% to 100%. Twenty-seven studies examined the motor abilities of children and adolescents with ADHD. Depending on the type of motor assessment tool and the cut-off points used by different researchers, prevalence rates of impairment in motor abilities are highly variable and ranged from 8% to 73%. Remarkably, there is a paucity of research addressing the motor abilities of individuals with DBD or depression. Furthermore, methodological problems, such as measurement and comorbidity issues, complicate the generalization of the findings. CONCLUSION: Research suggests that motor impairment is highly prevalent in some psychiatric conditions, particularly ASD and ADHD. However, future work is necessary to draw sound conclusions.