Purpose: To systematically review all literature published in peer reviewed journals from January 1995 to July 2008 in order to summarize and describe the activity limitations and participation restrictions of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Methods: Multiple databases were systematically searched for articles related to DCD; only descriptive, intervention or qualitative articles were retained. Articles were coded using the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF) and descriptions of the activity and participation issues of individuals with DCD were identified. Results: Data analysis revealed that, from 371 articles that met inclusion criteria, only 44 (14.4%) presented any data related to activity or participation issues. Information was inconsistent and only 18 articles used published measurement tools. Most frequently cited issues were poor handwriting, difficulties playing ball games, getting dressed and participating in organized sports. Conclusion: Evidence concerning activity and participation issues for children with DCD is limited in both volume and scope. Improved understanding of participation and of activity limitations in children with DCD is essential for clarifying diagnostic criteria, guiding assessment, and making evidence-based decisions regarding intervention. Researchers working with this population should make every effort to measure and consistently report the impact of children's motor impairments on function. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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