Features of developmental coordination disorder in active childhood epilepsy: a population-based study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2015 Sep;57(9):829-34. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12763. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


Aims: To provide data on parent-reported features of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and describe neurobehavioural comorbidity in children with epilepsy and DCD.

Method: Eighty-five (74% of those eligible) children (44 males, 41 females; age range 5-15y) with active childhood epilepsy (an epileptic seizure in the last year and/or currently taking antiepileptic drugs) in a population-based cohort underwent comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment. The DCD Questionnaire (DCD-Q) was completed by parents (n=69) of children with an IQ>34, of whom 56 did not have cerebral palsy (CP), and were considered for a diagnosis of DCD.

Results: Of those considered for a DCD diagnosis, 16 (29%) met DSM-IV-TR criteria whereas 34 (61%) scored in the at-risk range on the DCD-Q. The sensitivity of the DCD-Q was 100% (95% CI 76-100) and specificity was 55% (95% CI 39-70). Significant predictors of higher scores on the DCD-Q included the presence of autism spectrum disorder, CP, and early seizure onset. Increasing age and IQ were independently associated with higher DCD-Q scores. Intellectual disability, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, academic underachievement, and specific memory problems were the most common neurobehavioural difficulties in those with both DCD and epilepsy.

Interpretation: Parent-reported symptoms of DCD are very common in childhood epilepsy. The DCD-Q has good sensitivity but lower specificity in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Planning
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Developmental Disabilities* / complications
  • Developmental Disabilities* / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities* / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / complications
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Parents / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires