Direction-specific impairment of stability limits and falls in children with developmental coordination disorder

Shirley Siu Ming FONG, Sheung Mei Shamay NG, Ming Yan CHUNG, W. Y. KI, Duncan James MACFARLANE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Introduction/Background: Limits of stability (LOS) is an important yet under-examined postural control ability in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). This study aimed to (1) compare the LOS and fall frequencies of children with and without DCD, and (2) explore the relationships between LOS parameters and falls in the DCD population. Material and Methods: Thirty primary school-aged children with DCD and twenty age- and sex-matched typically-developing children participated in the study. Postural control ability, specifically LOS in standing, was evaluated using the LOS test. Reaction time, movement velocity, maximum excursion, end point excursion, and directional control were then calculated. Self-reported fall incidents in the previous week were also documented. Results: Multivariate analysis of variance results revealed that children with DCD had shorter LOS maximum excursion in the backward direction compared to the control group (p = 0.003). This was associated with a higher number of falls in daily life (rho = -0.556, p = 0.001). No significant between-groups differences were found in other LOS-derived outcomes (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Children with DCD had direction-specific postural control impairment, specifically, diminished LOS in the backward direction. This is related to their falls in daily life. Therefore, improving LOS should be factored into rehabilitation treatment for children with DCD.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


Motor Skills Disorders
Direction compound
Reaction Time
Analysis of Variance
Multivariate Analysis
Control Groups


Fong, S. S. M., NG, S. S. M., Chung, L. M. Y., Ki, W. Y., & Macfarlane, D. J. (2016, May). Direction-specific impairment of stability limits and falls in children with developmental coordination disorder. Paper presented at The 10th International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine World Congress (ISPRM 2016), Royal Patron, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.