Developmental Coordination Disorder high in Children Born Very Preterm, Study reveals
According to recent research, it has been found out that the rates of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) decreased across middle childhood for both groups, the odds for DCD were consistently higher for very preterm children compared with term.
The study is published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Alicia J. Spittle and colleagues from the Physiotherapy Department, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia conducted the study to examine the stability of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) throughout childhood in children born very preterm and term. Further, in the very preterm group, to compare perinatal variables and neurobehavioral outcomes at 13 years of age for children with persisting DCD and those with typical motor development.
The authors conducted this prospective study of 180 very preterm and 73 term-born children, all of whom were assessed at 5, 7, and/or 13 years of age using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, with scores ≤16th percentile used to classify DCD. Children with cerebral palsy or an IQ of <80 were excluded.
The key findings showed that –
- Children born very preterm had increased odds for DCD at 5 (OR, 5.53; 95% CI, 2.53-12.0; P < .001), 7 (OR, 3.63; 95% CI, 1.43-9.18; P = .06), and 13 years (OR, 4.34; 95% CI, 1.61-11.7; P = .004) compared with term-born children.
- The rates of DCD in very preterm children reduced from 47.9% at 5 years of age, to 28.5% at 7 years and 27.8% at 13 years of age (OR per year of age, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.75-0.87; P < .001), but less so for term-born children (15.3%, 10.0%, and 8.5% at 5, 7, and 13-years respectively [OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.75-1.09; P = .31]).
- Within the very preterm group at 13 years of age, there was evidence that children with persisting DCD performed poorer across several cognitive domains compared with children with typical motor development, with differences in the order of 0.5-1.0 SD.
Hence, it was concluded that "Although the rates of DCD decreased across middle childhood for both groups, the odds for DCD were consistently higher for very preterm children compared with term, with important implications for cognitive functioning in the very preterm group."