Abstract

Importance: Occupational therapy practitioners need updated information about which interventions may improve motor skills for young children.

Objective: To identify the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions to promote motor development and prevent delay for children ages 0–5 yr.

Data Sources: Six databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, ERIC, Cochrane, and OTseeker) were searched for articles published from January 2010 to March 2017.

Study Selection and Data Collection: The search yielded 4,488 articles that were reviewed for inclusion. Fifty-six studies were entered into both evidence and risk-of-bias tables. Included studies used Level I–III designs, were within occupational therapy’s scope of practice, included participants with a mean age younger than 6 yr, and addressed motor skills.

Findings: Three intervention themes emerged: early intervention for children younger than age 3 yr, interventions for preschool children ages 3–5 yr, and interventions for children with or at risk for cerebral palsy.

Conclusions and Relevance: Occupational therapy practitioners should consider use of interventions with moderate or strong evidence as described in this review. Limitations include high risk of bias and limited evidence for several interventions.

What This Article Adds: This article provides occupational therapy practitioners with updated information on evidence-based practices for children age 5 and younger who have motor delays.

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