Kinematic performance of fine motor control in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: The effects of comorbid developmental coordination disorder and core symptoms

Authors


Correspondence: I-Ching Lee, PhD, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan. Email: iching@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Abstract

Background

The aims of this study were: (i) to determine whether differences exist in the fine motor fluency and flexibility of three groups (children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], children in whom ADHD is comorbid with developmental coordination disorder [DCD] [denoted as ADHD+DCD], and a typically developing control group); and (ii) to clarify whether the degree of severity of core symptoms affects performance.

Methods

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised, the Beery–Buktenica Development Test of Visual-Motor Integration and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children were used as prescreening tests. The Integrated Visual and Auditory+Plus test was utilized to assess subjects' attention. The redesigned fine motor tracking and pursuit tasks were administered to evaluate subjects' fine motor performance.

Results

No significant difference was found when comparing the performance of the Children with ADHD and the typically developing group. Significant differences existed between children in whom ADHD is comorbid with DCD and typically developing children.

Conclusions

Children with ADHD demonstrated proper fine motor fluency and flexibility, and deficient performance occurred when ADHD was comorbid with developmental coordination disorder. Children with ADHD had more difficulty implementing closed-loop movements that required higher levels of cognitive processing than those of their typically developing peers. Also, deficits in fine motor control were more pronounced when ADHD was combined with movement coordination problems. The severity of core symptoms had a greater effect on children with ADHD's fine motor flexibility than did fluency performance. In children with pure ADHD, unsmooth movement performance was highly related to the severity of core symptoms.

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