Manual function outcome measures in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD): Systematic review

Eleonora Bieber, Bouwien C M Smits-Engelsman, Giuseppina Sgandurra, Giovanni Cioni, Hilde Feys, Andrea Guzzetta, Katrijn Klingels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study systematically reviewed the clinical and psychometric properties of manual function outcome measures for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) aged 3-18 years. Three electronic databases were searched to identify manual function tools at the ICF-CY body function, activity and participation level used in children with DCD. Study selection and data extraction was conducted by two blind assessors according to the CanChild Outcome Measures Rating Form. Nineteen clinical tests (seven fine hand use tools and 12 handwriting measures), three naturalistic observations and six questionnaires were identified. The fine-motor subdomain of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 and the Functional Strength Measurement, with adequate reliability and validity properties, might be useful for manual function capacity assessment. The Systematic Detection of Writing Problems (SOS) and the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) could be adopted for handwriting assessment, respectively from 6 and 9 years old. Naturalistic observations and questionnaires, whose psychometric properties have been investigated into limited extent, offer an assessment of the daily performances.This review shows that a combination of different tools is needed for a comprehensive assessment of manual function in children with DCD including the three levels of the ICF-CY. Further investigation of psychometric properties of those tools in children with DCD is warranted. Tests validated in other populations should be explored for their applicability for assessing manual function in children with DCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-131
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Manual function
  • Outcome measures
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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