Examining the evidence for interventions with children with developmental coordination disorder

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Introduction: This paper presents the results of a critical review of the literature regarding the evidence for the effectiveness of a selection of interventions in terms of improving occupational performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

Method: The inclusion criteria for articles reviewed were as follows: be about children whose primary diagnosis was DCD; present actual research into the effectiveness of an intervention or interventions; consider interventions that fit with occupational therapy practice (although it was not necessary for the intervention to be carried out by an occupational therapist); be published in peer-reviewed journals; and be available in the English language. The literature search was conducted by applying Boolean logic to the following databases: EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and ERIC. All articles that had the potential to fit the inclusion criteria were collected and screened for suitability. Reference lists of pertinent articles were also checked for further literature. The publication date of articles ranged from 1984 to 2011. Nineteen articles were deemed suitable for further appraisal and were appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme.

Findings: The findings indicated that, of those interventions reviewed, the most effective in improving occupational performance was the Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance approach.
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