Provision for children with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD): audit of the service provider


Mrs Judith M. Peters, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy Department, Level 5 Frontage Building, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK


Background  The aim of this study was to conduct an audit of parent/carer satisfaction with the service provided for children presenting with movement difficulties [developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD)/dyspraxia] at the out-patient physiotherapy clinic of a specialist tertiary referral paediatric hospital.

Method  A postal questionnaire was used to obtain objective and subjective data on the service offered. Factual information on aspects such as waiting time for first appointment, type of intervention offered, etc. was checked against clinical records. Satisfaction with the service was assessed using ratings and open-ended comment.

Results  Forty-five families completed the questionnaire. The results showed that the service was generally rated highly. The opportunity to discuss the child's problems and its implications was considered valuable. Among families offered 1 : 1 intervention, a statistically significant correlation emerged between the number of sessions attended and perceived effectiveness. Among families offered a home programme, perceived effectiveness was related to the number of times per week the child practised the programme.

Conclusions  This study showed that many children from mainstream schools with co-ordination problems continued to find it difficult to obtain a clear diagnosis. Once a referral and assessment had been achieved, however, parents/carers were shown to be satisfied with the package offered by this service provider.