Medical Definition of Brazelton newborn test

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Brazelton newborn test: A widely used test of the newborn baby as to their neurologic status and developmental progress.

The Brazelton newborn test is formally called the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). However, the NBAS which was devised by the Harvard pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton is better known as "the Brazelton."

There are a number of other behavioral assessments for young children. These include:

  • The Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) for children 0-6 years of age;
  • The ELM (Early Language Milestone) scale for children 0-3 years of age;
  • The CAT (Clinical Adaptive Test) and CLAMS (Clinical Linguistic and Auditory Milestone Scale) for children 0-3 years of age;
  • The Infant Monitoring System for children aged 4-36 months;
  • The Early Screening Inventory for children 3-6 years of age; and
  • The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test ("the Peabody") for testing children 2 1/2 to 4 years of age.

The purposes of developmental assessment depend on the age of the child. For a newborn, testing can detect neurologic problems, such as cerebral palsy. For an infant, testing often serves to reassure parents or to identify the nature of problems early enough hopefully to treat them. Later in childhood, testing can help delineate academic and social problems, again, hopefully in time to remedy them.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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