Vincristine and Fine Motor Skills of Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Cheryl L. Sabarre

Purpose: This study aimed to describe the fine motor skills and function of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on maintenance vincristine, a chemotherapy drug known to cause peripheral neuropathy.

Methods: A prospective case series design assessed 15 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia using the manual dexterity subsection of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2). Parents completed the MABC-2 Checklist to assess fine motor function. Cumulative vincristine exposure was calculated for each child.

Findings: Eighty percent of participants performed below average in fine motor skills compared to age-related norms. Over half (8/14) of parents described functional motor problems in their children. Relationships were found between vincristine, manual dexterity, and functional motor skills, but lacked statistical significance.

Conclusion: Early detection and intervention of fine motor difficulties is suggested. Further research with a larger sample is necessary to further explore the impact of fine motor skills and function in this clinical population.

Sabarre, C. L., Rassekh, S. R., & Zwicker, J. G. (2014). Vincristine and fine motor skills of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(4), 256-264. doi: 10.1177/0008417414539926.

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