Combined action observation and motor imagery improves learning of activities of daily living in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

[thumbnail of journal.pone.0284086.pdf]
journal.pone.0284086.pdf - Published Version (1MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Scott, Matthew W ORCID: 0000-0003-1062-3490, Wood, Greg ORCID: 0000-0003-0851-7090, Holmes, Paul S, Marshall, Ben, Williams, Jacqueline ORCID: 0000-0001-8049-2735 and Wright, David J ORCID: 0000-0001-9568-0237 (2023) Combined action observation and motor imagery improves learning of activities of daily living in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. PLoS ONE, 18. ISSN 1932-6203


Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is characterised by poor motor coordination, which interferes with the ability to execute activities of daily living (ADLs). Combined action observation and motor imagery (AOMI) involves observing movement videos whilst imagining simultaneously the sensations of executing the same movement. Laboratory-based research indicates that AOMI can help improve movement coordination in children with DCD, but no previous research had investigated the efficacy of AOMI interventions for learning ADLs. This study investigated the efficacy of a home-based, parent-led, AOMI intervention for learning ADLs in children with DCD. Children with confirmed (n = 23) or suspected (n = 5) DCD (total sample n = 28), aged 7-12 years, were assigned to either an AOMI intervention or a control intervention (both n = 14). Participants attempted the following ADLs at pretest (week 1), post-test (week 4), and retention test (week 6): shoelace tying, cutlery use, shirt buttoning, and cup stacking. Task completion times and movement techniques were recorded. The AOMI intervention produced significantly faster task completion times than the control intervention at post-test for shoelace tying, and significantly improved movement techniques for shoelace tying and cup stacking. Importantly, for children who could not tie shoelaces at pre-test (n = 9 per group), 89% of those following the AOMI intervention learnt the skill successfully by the end of the study, compared to only 44% of those following the control intervention. The findings indicate that home-based, parent-led, AOMI interventions can aid the learning of complex ADLs in children with DCD, and may be particularly effective for facilitating the learning of motor skills that do not currently exist within these children's motor repertoire. Copyright:

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0284086
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords developmental coordination disorder, DCD, motor coordination, daily living, children with DCD, children's health
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login