Use of the motor performance checklist to study motor outcomes in 5-year-olds

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Abstract

Aim:

To report findings about the Motor Performance Checklist (MPC) for 5-year-olds, a simple 12-item instrument for assessing gross and fine motor skills, in a research study of neurodevelopmental outcomes after neonatal events.

Methods:

We trained 10 examiners to use the MPC in a study of the outcomes of neonatal jaundice and dehydration in 339 5-year-old children. We compared MPC scores with those on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R), the Beery–Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration-Fourth Edition (VMI-4), and a standard neurological examination, and compared failure rates on each MPC item across examiners. Parent concerns about their child's development were addressed using the Parent Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS).

Results:

Children who ‘failed’ the MPC had 7–10 points lower mean scores on the WPPSI-R subscales (P = 0.001), 9–10 points lower mean scores on the VMI-4 subscales (P = 0.001), and were almost twice as likely to have a ‘questionable’ neurological examination score (adjusted OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.00–3.53, P = 0.005). On the PEDS, only the concern about the use of arms and hands was significantly associated with MPC failure. We found significant sex differences on four of the 12 MPC items. We also found differences in failure rates by different examiners.

Conclusions:

MPC scores correlated with other measures of neurodevelopment. Because of different failure rates across examiners, examiner terms need to be included if it is used in research studies.

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