Research Article  |   July 2013
Systematic Review of Interventions Used in Occupational Therapy to Promote Motor Performance for Children Ages Birth–5 Years
Author Affiliations
  • Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Director, Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University, 406 Atwell Hall, 453 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210; Jane.Case-Smith@osumc.edu
  • Gloria J. Frolek Clark, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, is Private Practitioner, Adel, IA
  • Theresa L. Schlabach, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, is Professor, Master of Occupational Therapy Department, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA, and Private Practitioner in early intervention, State of Illinois
Article Information
Early Intervention / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Special Issue on Occupational Therapy and Early Intervention/Early Childhood
Research Article   |   July 2013
Systematic Review of Interventions Used in Occupational Therapy to Promote Motor Performance for Children Ages Birth–5 Years
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2013, Vol. 67, 413-424. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005959
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2013, Vol. 67, 413-424. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005959
Abstract

We examined the research evidence for interventions used in occupational therapy to promote the motor performance of young children ages 0–5 yr. We identified 24 trials, Levels I–III, that met our review criteria. The studies fell into three categories: (1) developmental interventions for infants (ages 0–3 yr), (2) interventions for young children with or at risk for cerebral palsy (CP), and (3) visual–motor interventions for preschool children (ages 3–5 yr). Developmental interventions showed low positive short-term effects with limited evidence for long-term effects, and findings on the benefits of neurodevelopmental treatment were inconclusive. Interventions using specific protocols for children with CP resulted in positive effects. Visual–motor interventions for children with developmental delays (ages 3–5 yr) resulted in short-term effects on children’s visual–motor performance. Of the intervention approaches used in occupational therapy, those that embed behavioral and learning principles appear to show positive effects.