AHA-family assessments

The Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA), and the group of related assessments (AHA-family), measure and describe how effectively individuals with a hand/arm impairment use their two hands together to perform bimanual tasks.

Since daily activities commonly require the use of both hands, bimanual performance is of vital importance when considering hand function. Recognising that a person with a unilateral impairment will have one well-functioning hand and one hand that is more or less affected by impairment is a central construct to the AHA-family assessments. These tests use the unique perspective of measuring how well a person with unilateral impairment uses his/her affected hand as an “assisting hand” when performing bimanual tasks. It is this performance that is often crucial as to whether bimanual tasks can be completed successfully.

AHA-family assessments are observation based, criterion referenced and responsive to change. The bimanual activities from which the test is scored are age related, relevant and semi-structured allowing interaction with the examiner. It is the person’s typical performance that is elicited in the test situation, as opposed to maximal capacity often measured in other tests. Results from the AHA-family assessments can be used to guide interventions and to measure change over time.

Our Assessments

Click here if you want to see an overview of our assessments and how to use them.

Latest research on the AHA-family of assessments


Holmefur M, Gunnes-Elvrum A-K & Krumlinde-Sundholm L. (2023) The Assisting Hand Assessment for children and youth with Brachial Plexus Birth Injury: A study of validity and item hierarchy of AHA-Plex. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 55: 15325. DOI: 10.2340/jrm.v55.15325

This new study evaluated the 20 AHA items in AHA 18-18 specifically for children and youth with brachial plexus birth injury. A total of 105 participants were assessed with the AHA and data were analyzed with Rasch analysis. The results demonstrated excellentvalidity of the outcomes and that the test worked better with 15 items than the original 20, which reduces the time it takes to score the test. The analysis also revealed a specific difficulty order of the items, which is useful when planning treatment.