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Table 2 Description and purpose of neurodevelopmental assessments

From: Neurobehaviour between birth and 40 weeks’ gestation in infants born <30 weeks’ gestation and parental psychological wellbeing: predictors of brain development and child outcomes



AIMS [49]

The Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) is an observational norm-referenced assessment that measures infant motor development between 0 to 18 months of age. There are 58 items across the four positional subscales of prone, supine, sit and stand. The infants least and most mature item in each subscale is identified and marked as observed, then a window is created to assess the items in between as either observed or not observed. Subscale scores are added to obtain a total score. This assessment has been used extensively in follow-up of preterm infants and has excellent psychometric properties [53].

NSMDA [50]

The Neuro-Sensory Motor Developmental Assessment (NSMDA) is a criterion-referenced assessment tool constructed to measure neurodevelopment between 1 month and 6 years of age. The five domains of neurological, postural, sensory, fine, and gross motor are summed to create a total NSMDA score. A functional grade is also given for each domain and totalled to provide a total functional grade of normal, minimal deviation, mild deviation, moderate deviation, severe deviation or profound deviation. The NSDMA has good predictive validity for long term motor development [54].

TINE [51]

The Touwen Infant Neurological Examination (TINE) is a neurological examination designed for use with infants post term age. There are five clusters of dysfunction assessed – reaching and grasping, gross motor development, brainstem, visuomotor and sensorimotor. The number of criteria fulfilled is recorded for each cluster with an overall dysfunctional cluster rating of yes or no determined. The number of dysfunctional clusters are then added together to determine a neurological classification of neurologically normal, normal sub-optimal, MND (minor neurological dysfunction) or abnormal. The TINE has been shown to predict both minor and major neurological dysfunction in at risk populations including preterm infants [55].

SOMA [52]

The Schedule for Oral Motor Assessment (SOMA) is a standardised and psychometrically robust measure of oral-motor skills for eating and drinking for infants aged 8 months to 2 years. It was designed primarily to assess a wide range of oral-motor skills in infants with a grossly intact neurological system.

Bayley-III [56]

The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3 rd edition (Bayley-III) is a norm referenced developmental scale of cognitive, language and motor development that has good psychometric properties when used with a local control group, and has been used extensively in the follow-up of preterm infants [53, 57].