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Children with CHD are at increased risk for neurodevelopmental impairments. There is little information on long-term motor function and its association with behaviour.
To assess motor function and behaviour in a cohort of 10-year-old children with CHD after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.
Motor performance and movement quality were examined in 129 children with CHD using the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment providing four timed and one qualitative component, and a total timed motor score was created based on the four timed components. The Beery Test of Visual–Motor Integration and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were administered.
All Zurich Neuromotor Assessment motor tasks were below normative values (all p ≤ 0.001), and the prevalence of poor motor performance (≤10th percentile) ranged from 22.2% to 61.3% in the different components. Visuomotor integration and motor coordination were poorer compared to norms (all p ≤ 0.001). 14% of all analysed children had motor therapy at the age of 10 years. Children with a total motor score ≤10th percentile showed more internalising (p = 0.002) and externalising (p = 0.028) behavioural problems.
School-aged children with CHD show impairments in a variety of motor domains which are related to behavioural problems. Our findings emphasise that motor problems can persist into school-age and require detailed assessment and support.
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