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Res Dev Disabil. 2013 Oct;34(10):3197-201. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Assessment of gait characteristics and orthotic management in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: preliminary findings to inform multidisciplinary care.

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School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, University of East London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by impaired motor co-ordination and awkward gait. Despite self-reported findings of pes planus and joint hypermobility in children with DCD, there is little objective evidence regarding the clinical management of the foot in children with DCD. The aims of this research were to report clinical findings of foot posture and lower limb hypermobility in children with DCD and to evaluate the impact of foot orthoses on spatio-temporal gait parameters. Children with DCD were recruited into the study. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group who received foot orthoses at the start of their rehabilitation programme or to a second group who received foot orthoses at the end of their intervention programme. Foot posture was assessed with the Foot Posture Index and lower limb hypermobility assessed with the Lower Limb Assessment Score. The effect of foot orthoses was evaluated through assessment of spatio-temporal gait characteristics at baseline and post-rehabilitation programme. Fourteen children were recruited (mdn age 7.5 years) with nine children assigned to the group receiving orthoses early (mdn age 8 years) and five children assigned to the post-rehabilitation orthoses group (mdn age 6.5 years). A pes planus foot posture (FPI score=8) and lower limb hypermobility (LLAS score=11) were observed. Changes in spatio-temporal gait parameters failed to reach significance (p>.012) following orthotic invention but demonstrated a trend towards a decreased cadence and increased double support duration. Despite non-significant findings this work offers preliminary support for podiatric intervention in the rehabilitation of children with DCD. Further work is required to understand the biomechanics of gait in children with DCD and appreciate the role of podiatry as a component of multidisciplinary care.


Developmental Coordination Disorder; Foot; Gait; Lower limb; Orthotics

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