Motor skill intervention for pre-school children : a scoping review
CITATION: Van Der Walt, J., Plastow, N. A. & Unger, M. 2020. Motor skill intervention for pre-school children : a scoping review. African Journal of Disability, 9:a747, doi:10.4102/ajod.v9i0.747.
The original publication is available at https://ajod.org
Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund
Background: There is a high prevalence of motor skill difficulties amongst pre-school children living in low socio-economic areas. Motor skill impairment can affect these children’s school readiness and academic progress, social skills, play and general independence. Objectives: This scoping review investigates the key elements of existing motor skill interventions for pre-school children. Method: We gathered information through structured database searches from Cinahl, Eric, PubMed, Cochrane, ProQuest, Psych Net, PEDro and Scopus, using a keyword string. The PRISMA-SCR design was used to identify 45 eligible studies. All included studies investigated a motor skill intervention with well-defined outcome measures for children aged 4–7 years with motor skill difficulties. Studies that exclusively focused on children with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, physical disabilities or medical/physical deteriorating conditions were excluded. Information was charted on MS Excel spreadsheets. Fundamental concepts were categorised into common key themes and were converted into a proposed framework. Results: Fifteen intervention approaches were identified. Treatment is mostly managed by occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Evidence supports individual and group treatment with a child-centred, playful approach in a school or therapeutic setting. Whilst session information varied, there is moderate evidence to suggest that a 15-week programme, with two weekly sessions, may be feasible. Conclusion: Children with motor skill difficulties need therapeutic intervention. This study identified the key elements of existing therapy intervention methods and converted it into a proposed framework for intervention planning. It is a first step towards addressing motor skill difficulties amongst pre-school children in low socio-economic areas.