Role of Pediatric Physical Therapists in Promoting Sports Participation in Developmental Coordination Disorder

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Abstract

Purpose:

To explore the role of pediatric physical therapists (PPT) in promoting sports participation in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and identify associated barriers and facilitators.

Methods:

Questionnaires were provided to 243 PPTs. Qualitative, semistructured, in-depth interviews were administered with the PPTs, children with DCD, and parents.

Results:

Approximately 67% of questionnaires were returned. Approximately 46% of PPTs were active in guiding children with DCD to sports clubs. This guidance was facilitated by knowledge of local sports, clubs that include children with DCD, and contact persons. Barriers to sports participation were the motor impairment or coincident disorder, insufficient participants to compose a team, and lack of guidance on how to include children with DCD.

Conclusions:

PPTs currently guide children with DCD to sports clubs, but this guidance may be improved by connecting them to special exercise programs and mainstream sports clubs and examining children's experiences during sports.

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