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    Strengths and weaknesses of the MABC-2 as a diagnostic tool for developmental coordination disorder: an online survey of occupational therapists and physiotherapists

    Hadwin, Kathryn J, Wood, Greg ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0851-7090, Payne, Sally, Mackintosh, Christopher ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7798-5125 and Parr, Johnny VV (2023) Strengths and weaknesses of the MABC-2 as a diagnostic tool for developmental coordination disorder: an online survey of occupational therapists and physiotherapists. PLoS One, 18 (6). e0286751-e0286751. ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) is the most widely used instrument for aiding the diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Despite being shown to have strong validity and reliability, it has received criticism for aspects of its scoring system, the lack of formal training, and its susceptibility to overlook higher functioning DCD children. To aid the development of future diagnostic tools and/or iterations of the MABC-2, the present study attempted to draw upon the experience of key stakeholders and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the MABC-2. Using a short online questionnaire, occupational therapists (n = 14) and physiotherapists (n = 3) with experience using the MABC-2 for DCD diagnosis completed a series of Likert scale and free-text questions. Braun and Clarke's six-phase process to thematic analyses was used to identify main themes obtained across quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicate that whilst the MABC-2 is easy to administer and interpret, the scores can misrepresent true motor difficulties due to (a) daily variations in mental and physical state, (b) the reliance on non-functional tasks, (c) negative interference from parents, (d) changes in motor competency due to practice, and (e) a lack of formal examiner training to ensure the test is effectively lead. Further work is needed to more reliably determine how perceptions of the MABC-2 might vary across levels of expertise, profession, and cultural differences.

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