Using an evidence-based online module to improve parents’ ability to manage their child with Developmental Coordination Disorder
Camden, Chantal; Foley, Véronique; Anaby, Dana; Shikako-Thomas, Keiko; Gauthier-Boudreault, Camille; Berbari, Jade; Missiuna, Cheryl
SubjectMotor skills disorders
Background : Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. Best practices include raising parents’ awareness and building capacity but few interventions incorporating these best practices are documented. Objective : To examine whether an evidence-based online module can increase the perceived knowledge and skills of parents of children with DCD, and lead to behavioural changes when managing their child’s health condition. Methods : A mixed-methods, before-after-follow-up design guided by the theory of planned behaviour was employed. Data about the knowledge, skills and behaviours of parents of children with DCD were collected using questionnaires prior to completing the module, immediately after, and three months later. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs and thematic analyses were performed on data as appropriate. Results : Fifty-eight participants completed all questionnaires. There was a significant effect of time on self-reported knowledge [F(2.00,114.00)=16.37, p=0.00] and skills [F(1.81,103.03)=51.37, p=0.00] with higher post- and follow-up scores than pre-intervention scores. Thirty-seven (65%) participants reported an intention to change behaviour postintervention; 29 (50%) participants had tried recommended strategies at follow-up. Three themes emerged to describe parents’ behavioural change: sharing information, trialing strategies and changing attitudes. Factors influencing parents’ ability to implement these behavioural changes included clear recommendations, time, and ‘right’ attitude. Perceived outcomes associated with the parental behavioural changes involved improvement in well-being for the children at school, at home, and for the family as a whole. Conclusions : The online module increased parents’ self-reported knowledge and skills in DCD management. Future research should explore its impacts on children’s outcomes long-term.