Core stability exercise is as effective as task-oriented motor training in improving motor proficiency in children with developmental coordination disorder: A randomized controlled pilot study

Mei K. Au, Wai M. Chan, Lin Lee, Tracy M.K. Chen, Rosanna M.W. Chau, Marco Yiu Chung Pang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the effectiveness of a core stability program with a task-oriented motor training program in improving motor proficiency in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).Design: Randomized controlled pilot trial.Setting: Outpatient unit in a hospital.Participants: Twenty-two children diagnosed with DCD aged 6-9 years were randomly allocated to the core stability program or the task-oriented motor program.Intervention: Both groups underwent their respective face-to-face training session once per week for eight consecutive weeks. They were also instructed to carry out home exercises on a daily basis during the intervention period.Main measures: Short Form of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (Second Edition) and Sensory Organization Test at pre- and post-intervention.Results: Intention-to-treat analysis revealed no significant between-group difference in the change of motor proficiency standard score (P=0.717), and composite equilibrium score derived from the Sensory Organization Test (P=0.100). Further analysis showed significant improvement in motor proficiency in both the core stability (mean change (SD)=6.3(5.4); p=0.008) and task-oriented training groups (mean change(SD)=5.1(4.0); P=0.007). The composite equilibrium score was significantly increased in the taskoriented training group (mean change (SD)=6.0(5.5); P=0.009), but not in the core stability group (mean change(SD) =0.0(9.6); P=0.812). In the task-oriented training group, compliance with the home program was positively correlated with change in motor proficiency (P=0.680, P=0.030) and composite equilibrium score (P=0.638, P=0.047).Conclusion: The core stability exercise program is as effective as task-oriented training in improving motor proficiency among children with DCD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-1003
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • core stability training
  • DCD
  • developmental coordination disorder
  • Task oriented practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this