Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14622018
Project Title(English) : A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Physical Activity Intervention on Motor and Cognitive Functions and Psychosocial Outcomes of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder  
Project Title(Chinese) : 體力活動干預對動作協調障礙兒童動作技能、認知功能及社會心理健康影響的集群隨機對照研究 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Sit, Cindy Hui-ping 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Sports Science and Physical Education
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Prof Ho, Tin Hung, Rainbow
Prof Tsai, Chia Liang
Prof Wong, Heung-sang Stephen
Dr YU, Jane Jie
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Education
Exercise Year : 2018 / 19
Fund Approved : 727,398
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 30-6-2021
Abstract as per original application
Development coordination disorder (DCD) is rarely recognized by educators and healthcare professionals until children begin to struggle at school. Children with DCD have deficits in motor and cognitive functions, which result in restricted participation in daily activities, poor academic performance and psychosocial outcomes such as anxiety and depression, limited social support and low self-concept. Early intervention is important because problems associated with DCD will carry over into adulthood. Conventional or therapeutic approaches to motor intervention on DCD are less promising, mainly because traditional rehabilitation practices impose economic and psychological burdens on both children with DCD and their families. In view of the positive associations of physical activity (PA) with improved cognitive function and psychosocial health in children, ecological PA intervention in the school setting has gained much attention. Our research team has conducted school-based PA interventions in children with DCD, and found significant positive effects on (1) motor performance, self-perceived competence and enjoyment; and (2) inhibitory control, a critical cognitive function that involves an ability to react and adapt to environmental changes in different contexts such as learning and social interaction. Further research is still needed to determine the sustainability of the intervention effects and determine whether improved motor and cognitive functions can translate into increases in psychosocial health as secondary outcomes in the longer term. Grounded in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY) framework, this study is the first cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine the effects of a school-based PA intervention on motor and cognitive functions (inhibitory control) and psychosocial outcomes (anxiety and depression, social support, self-concept) of children with DCD. It is also the first study to use salivary cortisol as biomarker of stress in Hong Kong children with DCD. Based on power calculation, 240 children with DCD in twelve Hong Kong primary schools will be cluster randomized allocated into either a 12-week PA intervention or a control condition. Measurements of motor performance, inhibitory control, and psychosocial outcomes (self-report, proxy-report, biomarker) will be conducted at (i) baseline, (ii) post-intervention (immediately after 12-week intervention), (iii) 3-month after post-intervention, and (iv) 12-month after post-intervention. This cluster RCT brings experts in PA interventions together, and its findings will assist educators and healthcare policy makers to develop early treatment strategies for DCD and to introduce school-based health promotion practices for children with DCD.
Research Outcome
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