Movement – ABC by Ward

Posted on: February 23, 2019 | By: dmaccallum | Filed under: Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement-ABC)

Purpose: To determine if different personnel and environments effect outcome measures in child diagnosed with developmental coordination disorders.

Population: Children with age ranged from 5 years and 1 month to 8 years and 11 months; 66 males and 27 females.

Methods/Intervention: Compare scores on Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) outcome measure in children who were randomly assigned to: at school with physical therapist or school assistant, in a clinic with a physical therapist. Intervention consisted of a group exercise setting with 1:3 adult to child ratio that consisted of a fine-motor warm up, a fine-motor activity, body awareness activity, gross-motor warm up, gross motor circuit or skills activity.  All groups received the same program during each session for 60 minutes/session, once/week for 13 weeks.

Results: All groups showed significant improvement in MABC scores but no statistical difference in scores amongst groups in different settings and personnel.


I thought this article’s purpose was interesting.  I have always wondered how/if a different setting or personnel could effect outcomes in the physical therapy world.  We have learned how important patient rapport is and how it can positively and negatively effect outcomes, so it is not far off to hypothesize how an environment or people could effect how people perform in physical therapy.  This article concludes that a trained school assistant can effectively lead an exercise group for young children with developmental coordination disorders as well as a physical therapist can in the same setting or in a clinic.  I believe this study did a good job at keeping the environments different, yet homogenous, at the same time.  They made an effort to use the same equipment, follow a script and even keep the same adult:child ratios in the different settings.




2 responses to “Movement – ABC by Ward”

  1. aohalloran2 says:

    I agree that this article is very interesting and the difference in the environment and how that affects outcomes has been something I have considered as well. I like that the study kept all other factors consistent and just changed the environment, however, I was surprised to see that there weren’t any significant differences between groups. Personally, I would think there would be better outcomes in the school setting versus the clinic because the children would be in a more natural environment and therapy could be incorporated into tasks that they are already familiar with. I feel like a clinic could be over-whelming and over-stimulating for a child which could negatively affect outcomes. I wish that this study expanded their inclusion criteria to include an even younger population and then test if there were differences between ages. Were there any differences between males vs females? I would assume that there would be a bias towards males in this study, so perhaps, in future studies, it would be wise to achieve a more symmetrical distribution of males:females to avoid bias.

  2. dmaccallum says:

    From what I can see, there is no difference between males and females in this study. I did some digging and discovered that signs of developmental coordination disorders show up in ~20% of children but only 6% of children become diagnosed. I was not able to find information on the ratio between males and females diagnosed with DCD.

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