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Fatigue in developmental coordination disorder: An exploratory study in adults

Thomas, Marie; Christopher, Gary


Marie Thomas


Background: Fatigue in adult Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is increasingly being acknowledged by clinicians. However, no research to date has explored the nature of fatigue experienced by adults with this disorder.

Purpose: This paper aimed to examine fatigue in adult DCD within the context of a range of psychosocial measures such as mood and everyday functioning. Adults with DCD were compared to a group of adults with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and a typically developing/ non-fatigued group.

Method: Fifty-three adults with DCD, 84 with CFS and 52 typically developing/ non-CFS adults completed a range of established psychometric measures via an online data collection tool.

Results: Findings demonstrated clear differences between the DCD and typically developing/ non-fatigued group for all measures administered, including fatigue (p < 0.001). When compared to the CFS group, adults with DCD showed significantly lower levels of cognitive difficulties (p < 0.05), fatigue (p < 0.001), somatic symptoms (p < 0.001), and total symptoms (p < 0.001). However, no significant differences were found between the DCD and CFS groups in terms of anxiety, depression, cognitive failures, negative and positive affect, and self-esteem.

Conclusions: Of particular importance in the current study was the capture of data that corroborated anecdotal evidence of heightened levels of fatigue in adults with DCD along with elevated symptomatology for depression, anxiety, and low selfesteem and difficulties with respect to cognitive functioning and restorative sleep.


Thomas, M., & Christopher, G. (2018). Fatigue in developmental coordination disorder: An exploratory study in adults. Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior, 6(1), 41-51.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 27, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 28, 2018
Journal Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior
Print ISSN 2164-1846
Electronic ISSN 2164-1862
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 41-51
Keywords fatigue, developmental coordination disorder, psychosocial measures, chronic fatigue syndrome, well-being
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior on 27 December 2017, available online:


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