Efficacy of gross motor skill interventions in young children: an updated systematic review

Sanne L C Veldman, Rachel A Jones, Anthony D Okely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to provide an update of the evidence on the efficacy of gross motor development interventions in young children (0-5 years) from 2007 to 2015.

METHODS: Searches were conducted of six electronic databases: PUBMED, Medline (Ovid), ERIC (Ebsco), Embase, SCOPUS and Psychinfo. Studies included any childcare-based, preschool-based, home-based, or community-based intervention targeting the development of gross motor skills including statistical analysis of gross motor skill competence. Data were extracted on design, participants, intervention components, methodological quality and efficacy.

RESULTS: Seven articles were included and all were delivered in early childhood settings. Four studies had high methodological quality. Most studies used trained staff members/educators to deliver the intervention (86%) and five studies lasted 18 weeks or more. Six studies reported statistically significant intervention effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the proven importance of gross motor skill development in young children and the recommendations made in the previous review, this review highlights the limited studies evaluated to improve such key life skills in young children over the past 8 years.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e000067
JournalBMJ open sport & exercise medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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