Assoc Prof Gillian Ferguson

Associate Professor



PG Diploma Health Sciences Education, University of Cape Town

PhD Biomedical Sciences Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven

MSc (Physiotherapy), University of Cape Town

BSc (Physiotherapy), University of Cape Town

Teaching areas:

Expertise in motor control and motor coordination. Course convener of Applied Physiotherapy (Neurology) and Research Methodology. Postgraduate Programme Convener Physiotherapy.

Research areas:

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • School-based interventions
  • Health Sciences Education

Professional memberships:

South African Society of Physiotherapy



Smits-Engelsman, B., Bonney, E., & Ferguson, G. (2021). Effects of Graded Exergames on Fitness Performance in elementary school children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 3, 67.

Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M., Smit, E., Doe-Asinyo, R.X. et al. Inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability of the Performance and Fitness (PERF-FIT) test battery for children: a test for motor skill related fitness. BMC Pediatr 21, 119

Smits-Engelsman, B., Bonney, E., & Ferguson, G. (2020). Motor skill learning in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder. Human Movement Science, 74, 102687.

Chiwaridzo, M., Ferguson, G.D. & Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M. (2020) Anthropometric, physiological characteristics and rugby-specific game skills of schoolboy players of different age categories and playing standards. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 12, 3 .

Smits-Engelsman, B., Smit, E., Doe-Asinyo, R. X., Lawerteh, S. E., Aertssen, W., Ferguson, G., & Jelsma, D. L. (2020). Inter-Rater Agreement and Test-Retest Reliability of the Performance and Fitness (PERF-FIT) Test Battery for Children: A Test for Motor Skill Related Fitness.

Corten, L., Ferguson, G., & Smits-Engelsman, B. (2020). Does the item 'hands on floor' add value to the Beighton score in identifying joint hypermobility?. European journal of rheumatology, 7(2), 79–83.

Ituen, O., Smits-Engelsman, B., Ferguson, G., & Duysens, J. (2020). Judging heel height: A new test for proprioception while standing reveals that young hypermobile children perform better than controls. Gait & Posture., 75, 8–13., Ferguson, Burgess, & Smits-Engelsman, 2019)gaitpost.2019.09.012

Bonney, E., Ferguson, G., Burgess, T., & Smits-Engelsman, B. (2019). Benefits of Activity-Based Interventions Among Female Adolescents Who Are Overweight and Obese. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 31(4), 338-345. doi:10.1097/pep.0000000000000636

Chiwaridzo, M., Ferguson, G.D., Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M. (2019), Qualities or skills discriminating under 19 rugby players by playing standards: a comparative analysis of elite, sub-elite and non-rugby players using the SCRuM test battery. BMC research notes 12 (1), 1-8

Ferguson GD, Duysens, J and Smits Engelsman, BCM (2015) Children with DCD lack predictive control during a Manual Pursuit Task. Neurosciences (286) 13-26

Jelsma D, Ferguson GD, Smits-Engelsman BCM, Geuze RH (2015) Finding the balance: short-term motor learning of dynamic balance control in children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities (38) 213-222

Ferguson, GD., Jelsma, J., Versfeld, P., & Smits-Engelsman, B. (2014). Using the ICF Framework to Explore the Multiple Interacting Factors Associated with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Current Developmental Disorders Reports, 1-16

Ferguson GD, Aertssen WFM, Rameckers EAA, Jelsma J, Smits-Engelsman BCM (2014) Physical fitness in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: Measurement matters

Research in Developmental Disabilities (35) 1087-1097.

Ferguson GD, Jelsma DJ, Jelsma J, Smits-Engelsman BCM (2013) The efficacy of two task-orientated interventions for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: Neuromotor Task Training and Nintendo Wii Fit Training. Research in Developmental Disabilities (34) 2449-2461

Jelsma J, Pronk M, Ferguson GD, Jelsma-Smit D (2013) The effect of the Nintendo Wii fit on balance control and gross motor function of children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Developmental Neurorehabilitation 16 (1): 27-37

Amosun SL, Maart S, Ferguson GD, Manie S (2012) Widening access to undergraduate physiotherapy education in South Africa pointers from students’ records. South African Journal of Physiotherapy 68 (2)

Jelsma J, Davids N, Ferguson GD (2011) The motor development of orphaned children with and without HIV: Pilot exploration of foster care and residential placement. BMC Pediatrics, 11 (11)

Ferguson GD, Jelsma J (2009) The prevalence of motor delay among HIV infected children living in Cape Town, South Africa. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research Jun, 32 (2): 108-14.

Jelsma J, Ferguson GD (2007) Motor development in children living within resource poor areas of the Western Cape. South African Journal of Physiotherapy.63 (2):35-40.

Jelsma J, Ferguson GD (2002): The determinants of health related quality of life in residents of Woodstock, Cape Town. The Bulletin, World Health Organization. 83 (3) 206-12 Epub Apr 16

Ferguson GD, Naidoo N, Smits-Engelsman BCM (2015) Providing opportunities for motor skills acquisition and improving physical fitness for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder at a low-income primary school. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics (accepted)