Title: Is Segmental Trunk Control Related to Gross Motor Performance in Healthy Preterm and Full-Term Infants?
Authors: Ana Luiza Righetto Greco, Natalia Tiemi da Silva Sato, Adrielle Moraes Cazotti, Eloisa Tudella
Citation: Greco ALR, Sato NTDS, Cazotti AM, Tudella E. Is Segmental Trunk Control Related to Gross Motor Performance in Healthy Preterm and Full-Term Infants? Journal of Motor Behavior. 2019:1-10. doi:10.1080/00222895.2019.1673694.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine segmental trunk control in 6- and 7-month old full-term and pre-term infants as it relates to gross motor skill performance.
Study population/Methods: 26 pre-term and 26-full term infants between the age of 6 and 7 months participated in the study. Children with co-morbidities, including motor or sensory impairments, were excluded from the study. This study utilized the Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control (SATCo) and the Alberta Infant Motor Skills (AIMS). Each participant underwent administration of the SATCo for evaluation of segmental control and the AIMS for evaluation of gross motor skills at both 6 months and 7 months of age. There was no intervention given between the first and second assessment.
Results: This study found a significant correlation between segmental trunk control and gross motor skills in the supine and sitting positions at 6 months of age in full-term infants. This study also found significant correlations between segmental trunk control and gross motor skills in supine, prone, sitting, and supported standing positions at 7 months of age in pre-term infants. Furthermore, in comparison with the full-term group, this study found significant differences in segmental trunk control in pre-term infants, demonstrating worse control at both 6 and 7 months of age.
Major strengths/limitations: The design of this study is needed in the literature because common clinical practice is currently to view the trunk as one unit and therefore target trunk control globally. Furthermore, though there is evidence for pre-term infants being delayed in gross motor skill acquisition, there is no current evidence that pre-term infants experience a delay in developing segmental trunk control. One limitation of the study, however, is that the researches only allowed pre-term infants who had no co-morbidities. While they may be slightly delayed in gross motor skill performance, there are no other developmental delays associated with the subjects. Because of this, there is no comparison with other developmental disorders. This is considered a limitation because of the direct correlation the researchers are arguing between segmental trunk control and gross motor skills.
Conclusion: Segmental trunk control is correlated with gross motor performance for both pre-term and full-term infants at 6 months and 7 months of age. Improved segmental trunk control scores are associated with improved gross motor performance, specifically in the sitting position. This study makes a strong argument for clinicians to utilize the SATCo to examine segmental trunk control in patients who are delayed in gross motor skill acquisition.