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Abbreviated from the Administration Manual for the DCDQ’07  with Psychometric Properties, 2012

Does it make a difference if the mother or father completes the questionnaire?

Many clinicians believe that mothers and fathers will have different perspectives of the answers given on the DCDQ; however, no studies have indicated how these different perspectives might influence the score on the DCDQ. The questionnaire could be administered to both the mother and father, scores on each item compared, and then differences discussed and adjusted to obtain a score that accounts for both perspectives.

Can a teacher complete the DCDQ?

Because the cut-off scores for the DCDQ were developed using parent report, it is recommended that parents and teachers complete the questionnaire together if the perspective of the teacher is being sought.

Several studies have been recently completed in which teachers have completed the DCDQ. Although parent and teacher report of motor skills have not demonstrated high levels of agreement, research showed that teacher report using the DCDQ correlated more highly with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) than did parent report.

With two Greek adaptations of the DCDQ for use with teachers and parents, relative agreement for individual items was high but overall correlation was not significant (p = 0.056). Teacher report was significantly related to MABC scores, but correlation between the MABC and the parent completed DCDQ was not significant.

When is the best time to give the DCDQ?

Some clinicians give the questionnaire at the time of referral for a motor problem in order to provide direction on what assessments may be most useful. Others combine it with a standardized assessment, or use it following assessment to confirm the results of standardized tests. A range of information may be gained when used at different times

Do the results of the DCDQ always agree with other tests?

By design, the DCDQ is structured to identify more children than most normative, standardized tests of motor skills. In this way, it acts like a “coarse sieve” to screen and identify children who may have problems. It is more likely to over-identify children than to miss a child who has a problem. Use of standardized tests will confirm the presence of motor deficits in the event that the DCDQ over-identifies a problem.

It is also important to remember that the DCDQ measures performance in day-to-day skills, which is different than the “snap-shot” of motor performance measured with standardized tests. The test is therefore not expected to agree highly with standardized tests; research has confirmed that this is true for the DCDQ as well as for other parent and teacher questionnaires.

Can the DCDQ be used before and after treatment as an outcome measure?

The DCDQ has been used as an outcome measure in several studies. The questionnaire can measure progress, although parent perceptions of their children’s challenges are often different than the scores from standardized testing or from the child’s perception, which raises the question of whose perception is the most valid.

What is the test-retest reliability of the DCDQ?

Although the recent re-validation study of the DCDQ did not include a measure of test-retest reliability, several other researchers have measured this property. Test-retest reliability is high, with correlations greater than 0.90.

How often can the DCDQ the administered?

In one study, the DCDQ’07 was administered every six months for two and a half years, without any signs that the repeated administration influenced parents’ perceptions. Some clinicians repeat the questionnaire following treatment, usually within six to ten months. We believe it can be re-administered within a 3 to 6 month period, but have not studied this specifically.

Why are the last 2 questions on DCDQ worded in the negative?

The original DCDQ had 17 items, and half were worded in the negative. Over the 10 years it was in use, we found two common problems:

  • First, some parents (between 5 and 10 percent) did not notice that the wording changed from the positive statements on the first page to the negatively-worded statements on the second page. They continued to mark items with the same scores (e.g., 4 or 5) as they did for the first half of the questionnaire. This resulted in an invalid score, but one that the average clinician may neither notice nor account for.
  • Secondly, when negatively worded statements are used, it is necessary to reverse the scoring before computing the final score. We found that some clinicians had difficulty doing this recalculation, which would, again, produce an invalid score. In the re-validation study, we tried to introduce new, positively worded statements to replace the negative ones. While this was successful with some items, there were two phrases which ‘performed’ very strongly (i.e., strongly contributed to the total score) as they were originally written: “bull in a china shop” and “fatigue”. In order to include these items without having to reverse their scoring, they are written in the double negative.

Can the DCDQ be used with children under five years of age?

Use of the DCDQ for children under five years is not recommended. A new questionnaire – the Little DCDQ – has been developed for three and four year old children.

Are there any characteristics or attributes of parents which may affect the way they report on their children’s motor skills?

There are many things that might affect how a parent answers the questions on the DCDQ. Their knowledge of normal child development and whether they regularly observe their child in play or organized motor activities are obvious factors. Whether parents are reluctant to have “labels” applied to their child, compared to whether they are hoping to get a diagnosis and support for their child, will also influence how they answer. And the age of the child might also influence a parent’s motivation and “energy” level, especially if they have been searching for help for a period of time.

Semi-structured interviews using the items of the DCDQ can help determine if the score on the DCDQ seems to be an accurate reflection of the child’s abilities.

Can the questionnaire be used with children who have Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

The DCDQ can definitely be used with children who have other developmental conditions. The results, combined with other test results, may assist the professional in learning whether challenges in motor skills are the result of poor motor coordination or are due to poor attention to the task, or perhaps both.

Scores for the DCDQ were developed using logistic regression modelling, which took into account the factors of age, gender and the presence of ADHD. The presence of ADHD was not associated with the DCDQ score, indicating that there is little bias when using this questionnaire with children who have ADHD.

We have also found that children with both ADHD and DCD performed lowest on both the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) and on the DCDQ, but children with ADHD alone performed much like typically developing children. However, children with ADHD – whether DCD is present or not – had overall low scores on the DCDQ Total Score. Children with ADHD alone scored within normal limits on the Control During Movement Factor. On the DCDQ, the overall score was unaffected by attention problems, but the profile of individual DCDQ factor scores showed that parent report could differentiate children with ADHD from the others on one factor: Control During Movement. This may help differentiate the attention issue from the coordination issue. Standardized assessment appears minimally affected by attention deficit alone: children with ADHD-only performed much like controls on the MABC.

A multifaceted approach should be used to ascertain whether children’s motor scores are related to true movement difficulties or to attention issues, in order to determine the best intervention.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research in the development of the DCDQ and the Little DCDQ, and of the first web site.