Symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with developmental coordination disorder: a systematic review

Tatiane Targino Gomes Draghi, Jorge Lopes Cavalcante Neto, Liz Araújo Rohr, Lemke Dorothee Jelsma, Eloisa Tudella
Jornal de Pediatria 2019 April 25

OBJECTIVE: To find evidence of the symptoms of anxiety/depression in children with developmental coordination disorder as compared to their typically developing peers at both the group and individual level, and to identify how many different tools are used to measure anxiety and/or depression.

METHODS: Electronic searches in eight databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, ERIC, PsycINFO, Embase, SciELO and LILACS), using the following keywords: 'Developmental Coordination Disorder,' 'Behavioral Problems,' 'Child,' 'Anxiety,' 'Depression,' 'Mental Health,' and 'Mental Disorders.' The methodological quality was assessed by Newcastle-Ottawa Scale adapted for cross-sectional studies and the NOS for cohort studies. The studies were classified as low, moderate, or high quality. To provide clinical evidence, the effect size of the symptoms of anxiety and depression was calculated for each study.

RESULTS: The initial database searches identified 581 studies, and after the eligibility criteria were applied, six studies were included in the review. All studies were classified as being of moderate to high quality, and the effect sizes for both anxiety and depression outcomes were medium. The evidence indicated that all of the assessed studies presented more symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with developmental coordination disorder than in their typically developing peers. On the individual level, this review found children with clinical symptoms of anxiety in 17-34% (developmental coordination disorder) and 0-23% (typically developing), and of depression in 9-15% (developmental coordination disorder) and 2-5% (typically developing) of the children.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with developmental coordination disorder are at higher risk of developing symptoms of anxiety and depression than their typically developing peers.

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