Abstract

Purpose. This study examined how performance components and variables in intervention influenced fine motor and functional outcomes in preschool children.

Method. In a sample of 44 preschool-aged children with fine motor delays who received occupational therapy services, eight fine motor and functional performance assessments were administered at the beginning and end of the academic year. Data on the format and intervention activities of each occupational therapy session were recorded for 8 months.

Results. The children received a mean of 23 sessions, in both individual and group format. Most of the sessions (81%) used fine motor activities; 29% addressed peer interaction, and 16% addressed play skills. Visual motor outcomes were influenced by the number of intervention sessions and percent of sessions with play goals. Fine motor outcomes were most influenced by the therapists’ emphasis on play and peer interaction goals; functional outcomes were influenced by number of sessions and percent of sessions that specifically addressed self-care goals.

Conclusion. The influence of play on therapy outcomes suggests that a focus on play in intervention activities can enhance fine motor and visual motor performance.

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