HAI is a new assessment of hand function which was recently developed for infants at risk of cerebral palsy (CP) in the age range 3-12 months old. The HAI measures the degree and quality of goal directed actions performed with each hand separately as well as with both hands together. The outcome of the test renders a separate score for each hand, illustrating possible asymmetric hand use as well as a criterion referenced measure of general upper limb ability. Comparing the infants result to norm referenced values can assist in identifying infants with an deviating hand use who would benefit from intervention. As a first step the HAI has shown to produce valid and reliable results for infants with clinical signs of unilateral cerebral palsy.
The HAI is scored on 17 items (12 unimanual and 5 bimanual) scored on a 3-point rating scale. The HAI is a criterion referenced test useful for measuring hand function, and norm-referenced values are also provided. Research has shown the HAI outcomes have a strong predictive validity of unilateral CP, already from 3.5-4.5 months of age. This information can assist in identifying which infants that might benefit from early intervention. HAI can also follow development and measure results from interventions during the first year of life.