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Cohort profile: the Canadian coordination and activity tracking in children (CATCH) longitudinal cohort
  1. John Cairney1,
  2. Scott Veldhuizen2,
  3. M Christine Rodriguez1,
  4. Sara King-Dowling3,
  5. Matthew Y Kwan4,
  6. Terrance Wade5,
  7. David Price4,
  8. Cheryl Missiuna6,
  9. Brian Timmons3
  1. 1 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Infant and Child Health Lab, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4 Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5 Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6 School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr John Cairney; john.cairney{at}


Purpose Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a prevalent, neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 2% to 5% of children, which is characterised by fine and gross motor problems. Children with DCD have been shown to be less fit and physically active than other children; however, the direction of causality is unknown as previous studies have typically been done in older children when the differences in fitness and physical activity are already present. The aim of the Coordination and Activity Tracking in Children (CATCH) study is to specifically address the issue of precedence by recruiting a large sample of children in early childhood.

Participants CATCH comprises a community-based sample of parents and children 4 to 5 years of age divided into two groups: at risk for DCD (rDCD; n=287) and typically developing (TD; n=301). Inclusion in the rDCD group required a score at or below the 16th percentile on a standardised test of motor coordination and a score above 70 on a standardised test of intelligence.

Findings to date Children in the rDCD group contained a higher proportion of males (67% vs 48%, χ2=21.9, p<0.001). Children in the rDCD group had lower mean IQs, aerobic and musculoskeletal fitness than children in the TD group (p<0.001 for all). There were no differences observed between groups for body composition or physical activity. Parent characteristics did not differ, with one exception: partners of reporting parents of rDCD children were less likely to hold a university degree (44% vs 57%, χ2=7.4, p=0.004). According to parent report, rDCD children experienced more problems in self-care, school and leisure activities (p<0.001 for all).

Future plans Children are being followed up annually for 3 years. At each follow-up, motor coordination testing is repeated, and data are collected on physical activity, fitness and social-emotional problems.

  • developmental neurology & neurodisability
  • community child health
  • paediatrics

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Collaborators Collaborations are welcome through specific research proposals which can be sent directly to the Principal Investigator (Dr. John Cairney). At present, there are no plans to make the data completely open access. Data collection is ongoing and will not be completed until 2019. After this, application to obtain specific data-cuts can be made directly to the Principal Investigator.

  • Contributors JC, SV and MCR prepared the original draft of the manuscript. SV conducted data analyses and put together tables and figures. MCR and SK-D led study implementation and were actively involved in study planning and data collection. MCR was responsible for the day-to-day project management. JC, CM, BT, TW, MYK and SV provided methodological input on various aspects of study design. DP provided input on clinical aspects of the study and was responsible for adjudication of study eligibility. All authors provided critical review of the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

  • Funding This research was supported by project grant MOP-126015 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The funders had no involvement in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval McMaster University (Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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