Aim: The aim of this study was to develop a descriptive and evaluative assessment of upper limb function for infants aged 3 to 12 months and to investigate its internal scale validity for use with infants at risk of unilateral cerebral palsy. Method: The concepts of the test items and scoring criteria were developed. Internal scale validity and aspects of reliability were investigated on the basis of 156 assessments of infants at 3 to 12 months corrected age (mean 7.2mo, SD 2.5) with signs of asymmetric hand use. Rasch measurement model analysis and non-parametric statistics were used. Results: The new test, the Hand Assessment for Infants (HAI), consists of 12 unimanual and five bimanual items, each scored on a 3-point rating scale. It demonstrated a unidimensional construct and good fit to the Rasch model requirements. The excellent person reliability enabled person separation to six significant ability strata. The HAI produced an interval-level measure of bilateral hand use as well as unimanual scores of each hand, allowing a quantification of possible asymmetry expressed as an asymmetry index. Interpretation: The HAI can be considered a valid assessment tool for measuring bilateral hand use and quantifying side difference between hands among infants at risk of developing unilateral cerebral palsy. What this paper adds: The Hand Assessment for Infants (HAI) measures the use of both hands and quantifies a possible asymmetry of hand use. HAI is valid for infants at 3 to 12 months corrected age at risk of unilateral cerebral palsy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology