Motor skills of 5-year-old children who underwent early cardiac surgery Academic Article uri icon


  • Aims To describe the motor proficiency of 5-year-old children who underwent early infant cardiac surgery and had atypical infant gross motor development. To identify risk factors for motor dysfunction at 5 years of age.A total of 33 children (80.5% participation rate) were re-assessed by a physiotherapist blinded to the diagnosis and previous clinical course, using standardised motor assessment tools.Motor proficiency was categorised as below average or well below average in 41% of the study patients. Approximately 30% of the cohort had balance deficits. Motor abilities at 4 months and 2 years of age were associated with motor proficiency at age 5; however, atypical motor development in infancy was not predictive of below-average or well below-average scores at age 5. Risk factors associated with motor ability at age 5 included respiratory support and intensive care length of stay in the 1st year of life, asymmetrical crawling in infancy, and cyanotic CHD at age 5.Despite differences from other reported studies in terms of cohort diagnoses and age at surgery, the rate of motor dysfunction was similar, with rates much higher than expected in typical children. Further assessment is needed in later childhood to determine the significance of these findings.

publication date

  • 2016