The ABI-CA was designed to be administered by a pediatric physical therapist who has experience with the GMFM-88 and/or the Community Balance and Mobility Scale, and requires 45 to 60 minutes to complete depending on the abilities of the child/youth. Depending on the recovery level post-ABI, some may require that the test is split into two sessions to enable them to provide their greatest effort and concentration.
Testing is conducted on and around the ABI-CA assessment pathway following item-specific guidelines outlined in the ABI-CA manual. The ABI-CA pathway is 10 m long and 0.45 m wide. The path markings are taped to the floor in a hallway that is at least 15 m in length and 2.5 m in width. The equipment needed consists of basic gym skills items such as soccer/basketball/bouncy ball, floor level balance beam, pylons (cones), bean bags, masking tape, wobble board and a stopwatch. All test equipment should be assembled in advance to make the test flow smoothly.
For every item, the child’s therapist should do a demonstration of the task. The speed of the therapist’s performance can be kept fairly slow so the child is not discouraged at the outset by tester’s speed but needs to be 100% accurate. For the more complex skills, the child/youth is given a chance to walk through all or part of the task before testing. These are highlighted in the manual.
The child is given the two chances to perform each item. Explain that on the first trial of an item, the child should be as accurate as they possibly can, even if it takes a bit longer to do it. They will then be given one more chance to see: i) if they can be more accurate if they did not do perfectly or ii) if they did it perfectly, to try to speed up while staying accurate.
If a top score of ’4’ is achieved on the first try, no further trial is required unless child is competitive and wants to better their time (i.e. no increase in score but should record the new time if the child does it again). The child is also given the chance to say ‘no’ to doing an item or to doing the repeat trials. Some items can be discouraging for some children and it is important to keep going with testing all of the items rather than getting too frustrated with a single item.
The child's test performance should be scored live (no need to videotape) using the ABI-CA worksheet. The therapist transfers the scores over to the ABI-CA excel spread sheet after the assessment is done.