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What it measures:

The Harris Infant Neuromotor Test (HINT) is a screening tool designed to identify neuromotor or cognitive/behavioral concerns in infants who are healthy or at high risk between the ages of 3 and 12 months. The tool is a simple, noninvasive, reliable, and valid screen used in clinical or research settings. The tool validates the importance of parental opinions in making screening decisions.1

Initially, the test gathers background information regarding the mother's pregnancy and delivery.

The test measures include:

  • Parent's level of concern about their child's development (5-item patient–caregiver section)
  • Motor behaviors in multiple positions, such as supine, prone, supine to prone, supported sitting, and supported standing (21-item section)
  • Head circumference
  • Behavioral state
  • Stereotypical behaviors
  • Examiner's overall clinical impressions1

The first edition of HINT was used in a pilot study in 1991 to assess 31 high-risk infants, aged 3 to 9 months. HINT was then revised in 1993 to become more comprehensive in its assessment of neuromotor delays.1

ICF Domain(s)

List 1 or more of the following that the test measures:

  • Body Structure and Function
  • Activity
  • Participation

ICF Categories

List 1 or more of the following that the test measures:

  • Mobility
  • Sensory Functions and Pain
  • Neuromusculoskeletal and Movement-Related Functions

Conditions and Test Variations Included in This Summary

This summary contains information on the use of HINT in 3 to 12-month-old infants with neuromotor delays. All forms of the test are included:

  1. The first developmental edition of HINT in 1991.
  2. The first revision of HINT in 1993.

Taskforce Recommendations

To date, there are no clinical practice guidelines from the American Physical Therapy Association or other professional associations that recommend HINT.

Clinical Insights

HINT is a highly reliable and valid test that can be used to screen infants ages 2.5-12.5 months of age for signs of neuromotor impairments. The test can be completed and scored in 15-30 minutes and can be completed by a variety of health care professionals. HINT is generalizable and can be used in most cases of suspected neuromotor or cognitive delays and indicates as to whether further testing needs to be considered for the infant. HINT has shown strong agreement with both AIMS and BSID-II outcomes. HINT can be used by a wide range of early childhood professionals such as PTs, OTs, physicians, and other early childhood educators. The items on the test also were deemed free of cultural bias. Unlike other tests that screen for infant delays, HINT is considered a “family-centered” screening tool by factoring in family and caregiver perceptions of the infant. For the clinician who aims to create a more family-centered approach, HINT would be a more appropriate tool than other similar tools. HINT is considered proprietary and requires purchasing from the publisher, which can be found in the “access test” section. A course is offered on proper administration from the publisher, which would aid in administration reliability.1,2,6,13,14

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