Relationships between motor skills and executive functions in developmental coordination disorder (DCD): A systematic review

Yael Fogel, Nichola Stuart, Teresa Joyce, Anna Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND Individuals with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) experience motor skill and executive function (EF) difficulties that challenge their daily activities.
AIM/OBJECTIVE This systematic review aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the relationships between motor skills and EFs in studies among individuals with DCD.
MATERIAL AND METHODS We conducted a systematic search of eight electronic databases for articles (published 1994–2021) reporting on quantitative studies that estimated relationships between motor skills and EFs when assessing children, adolescents and adults with DCD. Motor skills and EFs were assessed via reliable and validated assessment tools. Two reviewers independently screened the articles. We evaluated the quality of the selected articles according to EPHPP guidelines and the methodological quality of the assessments from these studies using the COSMIN checklist and reported results following the PRISMA-P checklist. This systematic review was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019124578).
RESULTS A total of 30,808 articles were screened. Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Findings from nine studies demonstrated weak to strong correlations between aspects of motor skills and EFs.
CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE Limited evidence supports the relationships between motor skills and EFs among individuals with DCD. Occupational therapists should consider the possibility of this relationship and give more consideration to these components when planning intervention for individuals with DCD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-356
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number3
Early online date28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Assessment tool
  • daily function
  • intervention
  • occupational therapy
  • questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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