Purpose: The primary aim of this research study was to establish whether a relationship exists between the visual-motor integration subtest when measured with the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration, 4th edition, and the copying and eye-hand coordination subtests, when measured with the Developmental Test of Visual Perception, 2nd edition. The secondary aim of this research study was to establish whether handedness and gender have an effect on the relationship between these three perceptual-motor skills.
Method: This retrospective cross-sectional study used retrospective data collected over a four-year-period, between 2009 and 2012, at a private occupational therapy practice in Tshwane East. The total sample size consisted of 106 participants that were referred for occupational therapy evaluations during the time period. The sample was divided into subgroups for grade, handedness and gender. Multivariable regression analysis was used to establish whether a relationship exists between visual-motor integration, copying and eye-hand coordination. Random-effects generalised least squares regression analysis was used to establish the effect of handedness and gender on the relationship between visual-motor integration, eye-hand coordination and copying.
Results: Results indicated reasonable agreement between the subtests of visual-motor integration and copying. Poor agreement was established between the subtests of visual-motor integration and eye-hand coordination, and the subtests of copying and eye-hand coordination. Statistically significant relationships were established between visual-motor integration, eye-hand coordination and copying for the total sample and subgroups of Grade R and Grade 1. Shared variance of 52.1% was established between the visual-motor integration and the copying subtest. The relationship between visual-motor integration and eye-hand coordination weakened for Grade 1 participants. This was also observed in the relationship between copying and eye-hand coordination. No statistically significant results were obtained for handedness and gender with regard to the relationships between visual-motor integration, eye-hand coordination and copying.
Conclusions: The results of the study indicated the importance of using all three subtests during occupational therapy evaluations. In view of the statistically significant relationships that were found to exist, the tests proved mutually supportive during occupational therapy evaluations. The negative relationship between visual-motor integration and eye-hand coordination for Grade 1 participants may be related to handwriting competency. Handedness and gender differences could not be related to the three perceptual-motor subtests.
Limitations: Firstly, the study population and study setting posed limitations toward generalisability. Secondly, the retrospective study design proved some limitations pertaining to the measurement instruments, data collection tools and re-scoring of the measurement instruments.
Recommendations: For more meaningful interpretations the study population should include children without developmental or school-related difficulties. This would aid toward better generalisability. A retrospective study design should be selected with caution.
Perceptual-motor skills, visual-motor integration, eye-hand coordination, copying, handwriting, handedness, gender, Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration 4th edition, Developmental Test of Visual Perception 2nd edition.
Dissertation (MOccTher)-- University of Pretoria, 2016.