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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Pediatrics 1/2019

Do video game interventions improve motor outcomes in children with developmental coordination disorder? A systematic review using the ICF framework

BMC Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2019
Benjamin F. Mentiplay, Tara L. FitzGerald, Ross A. Clark, Kelly J. Bower, Linda Denehy, Alicia J. Spittle
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12887-018-1381-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) experience a range of difficulties that can potentially limit their academic, social and physical ability. Recent research has developed interventions that aim to improve motor outcomes in a variety of paediatric cohorts using video gaming equipment. Therefore, we aimed to systematically review the literature on virtual reality or video game interventions that aim to improve motor outcomes in children with DCD.


Seven databases were searched for studies using the following criteria: a) virtual reality or video game based intervention; b) children with DCD; and c) motor outcomes relating to body structure and function, activity or participation. Data were extracted relating to study design, participant characteristics, details of the intervention, outcome measures, results, and feasibility/adherence.


Fifteen articles were included for review, including eight randomised controlled trials. No studies used virtual reality equipment, with all interventions using video games (Nintendo Wii in 12/15 articles). Mixed effects of video game intervention on outcome were found, with conflicting evidence across studies. Studies that reported on feasibility found most children enjoyed and adhered to the video game interventions.


This review found limited evidence for the effectiveness of video game interventions for children with DCD to improve motor outcomes due to limitations in the research including low sample sizes and low to moderate methodological quality. Further research is needed to determine the effect of video game or virtual reality interventions on motor outcomes in children with DCD.

Protocol registration

The protocol for this systematic review can be found on PROSPERO (CRD42017064427).
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