The APIB (Assessment of Preterm Infants’ Behavior) is a comprehensive, systematic assessment of the preterm and fullterm newborn developed by Heidelise Als, PhD and her colleagues.

Als, H., Lester, B.M., Tronick, E., & Brazelton, T.B. (1982). Towards a systematic assessment of preterm infants’ behavioral development. In H.E. Fitzgerald, B.M. Lester, and M.W. Yogman (Eds.), Theory and Research in Behavioral Pediatrics (pp. 35-63). New York: Plenum Press.

Als, H., Lester, B.M., Tronick, E., & Brazelton, T.B. (1982). Manual for the assessment of preterm infants’ behavior (APIB). In H.E. Fitzgerald, B.M. Lester, and M.W. Yogman (Eds., Theory and Research in Behavioral Pediatrics (pp. 65-132). New York: Plenum Press.

The APIB provides a valuable resource in support of developmental care provision by professionals and families. It is a neurodevelopmental diagnostic instrument for clinicians and developmental consultants for use in nursery, clinic, and home settings. APIB training is a requirement for all those providing formal NIDCAP training. It is highly recommended for all developmental specialists and developmental nurse educators in charge of the facilitation of developmental care. It is furthermore necessary for those who wish to use the APIB as research instrument.

The APIB, based on the Brazelton Newborn Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS, Brazelton, T. Berry, 1973. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Co.), provides further refinement of the identification of infants’ self regulatory efforts and thresholds to disorganization as viewed through aspects of the infant’s behaviors referred to as subsystem interactions.

The subsystems of the infant are formally observed and considered in terms of their organization and include: autonomic, motor, state, attention, and self-regulation. Additionally, the degree of examiner facilitation necessary in order to support the infant’s reorganization when disorganized is also assessed. The exam proceeds through a series of maneuvers that increase in vigor as well as tactile and vestibular demand. Further, the assessment examines the integrity of the infant’s sleep organization, systematically elicited movement repertoire, and availability and quality of social interaction. The stability and organization of the infant’s subsystems are continuously evaluated in their mutual interplay with each other, and in turn in their interplay with the examination’s graded demands.

APIB Reliability requires confidence and expertise in examining infants of a wide range of gestational ages and clinical conditions, and in accurately scoring their behavioral repertoires and functioning. For detailed description of the training process and requirements for certification please see NFI Quality Assurance of Training #002: APIB Professional.