Walking adaptability improves after treadmill training in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: A proof-of-concept study
SourceGait & Posture, 92, (2022), pp. 258-263
Article / Letter to editor
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Gait & Posture
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have motor coordination deficits leading to difficulties in sports and play that require adaptations of the walking pattern. Children with DCD indeed demonstrate poorer walking adaptability (WA) compared to typically developing children, but it remains elusive whether WA can be improved by training. RESEARCH QUESTION: Does augmented-reality treadmill training lead to improvements in WA in children with DCD? METHODS: Seventeen children with DCD were included in this proof-of-concept intervention study. They received a six-session training on the C-mill, a treadmill on which gait adjustments can be evoked by projected visual context. The effect of the training was evaluated before (M1), directly after training (M2) and after 6 months follow-up (M3) using the WAL-K (single and double run) and WA-tasks on the C-mill (as a single and with concurrent visuo-motor and cognitive task). In addition, parents completed a questionnaire on their perception of the training. Linear Mixed Model analyses were performed to assess the differences in WAL-K scores and success rates on the WA-tasks between M1-M2 and M1-M3. RESULTS: Children significantly improved on the WAL-K double run and on all three WA-tasks between M1-M2 and M1-M3. Children did not improve on the WAL-K single run. Parents found the training useful and fun for their child and indicated that their child fell less frequently. SIGNIFICANCE: The results show that C-mill training had positive and task-specific effects on WA in children with DCD, which effects generalized to an overground task and were retained at 6 months follow-up. This may help children with DCD to better participate in daily activities. Future research should include a control group to examine the effectiveness of the training program compared to receiving no training and may also examine the effect of the training on participation in daily life.
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