Association of developmental coordination disorder and low motor competence with impaired bone health: A systematic review

Jocelyn Tan, Myles Murphy, Nicolas H. Hart, Timo Rantalainen, Ranila Bhoyroo, Paola Chivers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims: Individuals with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and low motor competence (LMC) may be at increased risk of low bone health due to their lifetime physical activity patterns. Impaired bone health increases an individual's risk of osteoporosis and fracture; therefore, it is necessary to determine whether a bone health detriment is present in this group. Accordingly, this systematic review explores the association between DCD/LMC and bone health.

Methods and procedures: Studies were included with assessment of bone health in a DCD/LMC population. Study bias was assessed using the JBI critical appraisal checklist. Due to heterogeneity, meta-analysis was not possible and narrative synthesis was performed with effect size and direction assessed via harvest plots.

Outcomes and results: A total of 16 (15 paediatric/adolescent) studies were included. Deficits in bone measures were reported for the DCD/LMC group and were more frequent in weight-bearing sites. Critical appraisal indicated very low confidence in the results, with issues relating to indirectness and imprecision relating to comorbidities.

Conclusions and implications: Individuals with DCD or LMC are at increased risk of bone health deficits. Bone impairment locations indicate insufficient loading via physical activity as a potential cause of bone deficits. Results indicate a potential for earlier osteoporosis onset.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104324
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Early online date12 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Bone
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Falls
  • Fracture
  • Inactivity
  • Movement


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