FAST Club: The Impact of a Physical Activity Intervention on Executive Function in Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

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Physical activity (PA) has been demonstrated to have positive effects on cognitive function, particularly executive function (EF) skills. Animal models suggest PA may be effective in ameliorating some of the neuropsychological effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), but this approach has not been extended to humans. The purpose of this study was to develop a PA program, FAST Club, for children with FASD and to evaluate its effect on a measure of EF. Using a wait-list control design, 30 children age 7–14 yr participated in FAST Club for 2 × 1.5-hr sessions/week for 8 weeks. EF was assessed using the Children’s Color Trails Test. Significant improvements in T scores on the Children’s Color Trails Test were seen immediately postprogram, and this improvement was sustained at 3 months postprogram. These findings provide evidence to support the use of PA as a means to improve EF in children with FASD.

Pritchard Orr, Keiver, and Bertram are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, BC, Canada. Clarren is with the Dept. of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is now retired.

Pritchard Orr (Alison.pritchardorr@ufv.ca) is corresponding author.
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