Using your hands is crucial when accomplishing most daily life tasks such as self-care, work/play and leisure activities. Most of these everyday tasks are bimanual in nature and require the simultaneous use of both hands. The ability to functionally use both hands together may therefore be the most important aspect of hand function: a concept recognized in the AHA family of assessments. These assessment tools aim to describe and measure how well the two hands are used together during spontaneous and typical upper limb use. This is in comparison to most tests which measure best capacity in each hand, one at a time.
A common feature of all of the AHA-family assessments is that use a 10-15 minute video recorded session to allow for observation of age relevant bimanual activity. The activities are fun and engaging for children and relevant for adults. The video is later scored according to criteria in the respective test manuals.
The AHA-family assessments have all been developed using a Rasch measurement model analysis, ensuring a thorough evaluation of their validity and reliability. As well as measuring a person’s ability, development of the tests using the Rasch model also hierarchically orders the item difficulty. This information can be useful to both evaluate and guide intervention.
All of the AHA-family assessments have proven evidence of strong psychometric properties, as long as they are used in the stipulated way and with the population they were investigated for.