Introduction Recent literature supports the mirror neuron system deficit hypothesis in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), which may limit their action observation ability. This pilot study tested a new protocol to examine action observation abilities through observation and imitation of experimental tasks. Patients and method Twenty‐one children (10 with DCD, mean age 8y 2mo, Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition [MABC‐2] total score <16th centile; 11 typically developing, age and sex matched) were recruited. This protocol includes a simple and complex task. Children were asked to perform each task spontaneously. Afterwards, two different strategies to perform the tasks were shown through a video, and they were asked to imitate the observed strategy. Performances were video‐recorded and scored by two independent raters according to a modified version of the four‐point scale developed by Watkins. Interrater reliability (weighted kappa values) and known group validity (Mann–Whitney test) were investigated in typically developing children and children with DCD. Results Interrater reliability varied from substantial to excellent for simple task strategies in both groups (k=0.71–1.00). Substantial agreement was found for the complex task in the DCD group (k=0.71) and moderate agreement in the typically developing group (k=0.57). Children with DCD imitated less well than typically developing children, especially during the first execution of the simple task (p=0.001). A spearman correlation of 0.55 was found between action observation total score and MABC‐2 manual dexterity score. Conclusion The results support the interrater reliability of a new protocol for evaluating action observation abilities. This pilot study also suggests reduced action observation abilities in children with DCD.

A new protocol for action observation and imitation abilities in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD): a pilot study

G Sgandurra;A Guzzetta;
2018

Abstract

Introduction Recent literature supports the mirror neuron system deficit hypothesis in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), which may limit their action observation ability. This pilot study tested a new protocol to examine action observation abilities through observation and imitation of experimental tasks. Patients and method Twenty‐one children (10 with DCD, mean age 8y 2mo, Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition [MABC‐2] total score <16th centile; 11 typically developing, age and sex matched) were recruited. This protocol includes a simple and complex task. Children were asked to perform each task spontaneously. Afterwards, two different strategies to perform the tasks were shown through a video, and they were asked to imitate the observed strategy. Performances were video‐recorded and scored by two independent raters according to a modified version of the four‐point scale developed by Watkins. Interrater reliability (weighted kappa values) and known group validity (Mann–Whitney test) were investigated in typically developing children and children with DCD. Results Interrater reliability varied from substantial to excellent for simple task strategies in both groups (k=0.71–1.00). Substantial agreement was found for the complex task in the DCD group (k=0.71) and moderate agreement in the typically developing group (k=0.57). Children with DCD imitated less well than typically developing children, especially during the first execution of the simple task (p=0.001). A spearman correlation of 0.55 was found between action observation total score and MABC‐2 manual dexterity score. Conclusion The results support the interrater reliability of a new protocol for evaluating action observation abilities. This pilot study also suggests reduced action observation abilities in children with DCD.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dmcn.13789
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/941853
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