TOUR OF CIRCuiTS
CIRCuiTS is a web-based computerised cognitive remediation therapy programme, delivered by a therapist.
It targets metacognition (particularly strategy use) in addition to providing massed practice of basic cognitive skills. This can be supported by independent sessions carried out by clients and homework tasks allocated by the therapist.
Clients develop a set of personalised strategies to improve their cognitive performance and achieve their goals.
The CIRCuiTS therapist facilitates motivation, metacognition, and strategy use and optimisation.
They support generalisation of learning by encouraging clients to learn about and regulate their cognitive performance, and to transfer this learning to meet real-world goals. Goals are set collaboratively and can be recorded and tracked by the software. CIRCuiTS tasks are used to identify cognitive strengths and difficulties and factors affecting cognitive performance.
Therapists provide additional scaffolding for tasks to ensure consistent successful performance.
ABSTRACT TASKS & EXERCISES
There are two examples of tasks which clients complete in CIRCuiTS.
Abstract tasks are simple and practice particular cognitive skills. They have neutral content (shapes, numbers, etc.) and are not directly based on real-life activities. They appear more frequently at the start of a client's therapy journey, to help them get used to the programme and to practicing cognitive skills.
Exercises are more complex and require multiple thinking skills. They are based on real-life activities related to work, cooking, shopping, travelling and social situations, thereby increasing transfer of cognitive skills to everyday life. Exercises appear more frequently as the client progresses through their therapy journey.
Clients' CIRCuiTS journey centres around the Village, where they complete tasks and access resources. Different tasks take place in different buildings, which flash to indicate where the next task is located.
Abstract tasks take place in the College. Exercises take place in a relevant building (e.g. the Supermarket, for shopping-related tasks).
Clients access their progress log and other learning resources in the Library.
The Library contains resources for clients to read which support their understanding of CIRCuiTS, their computer and tablet skills, and the completion of homework.
The most important resource is the My Progress book. It tracks and displays clients' task scores, goals, most useful strategies, predictions of task difficulty and length, reflections on using strategies in daily life, strongest thinking skills, and areas for improvement.
Using strategies to complete tasks is key to CIRCuiTS' metacognitive approach. Clients choose strategies to help them complete each task and evaluate their usefulness afterwards. Clients can track strategies' usefulness and explore how to adapt them to different activities and contexts in real life.
Strategies range from talking aloud to interactive features within the programme such as highlighting parts of the screen.
Clients identify real-world goals at the start of therapy, and can monitor and adapt these as they progress. With the therapist's help, goals are encouraged to be cognitive, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific (Cog-SMART).
Goal-setting is crucial for motivation, transfer, measuring progress, and modelling skills in forward-planning and identifying sub-goals.
CIRCuiTS delivery consists of around 40 sessions with a therapist at a recommended frequency of 3 times a week. This can include independent homework sessions. While this is the recommended way to use Circuits, studies have investigated different delivery methods including less face-to-face contact and more independent work and group sessions.
Clients complete a standard set of tasks using our Standard CIRCuiTS Journey, and afterwards our Advanced CIRCuiTS Journey if they wish. CIRCuiTS journeys can be adapted to suit the needs of clients (e.g. to focus more on memory tasks).
CIRCuiTS requires an internet connection, and can be used on a range of computer and tablet devices.
A presentation (French) on the use of CIRCuiTS by our colleagues at Université Laval in Québec, Canada
CIRCuiTS is currently available in the following languages:
UK English, US English,
CIRCuiTS has the potential to be translated into other languages. If you wish to use CIRCuiTS in a language not listed above and to be involved in the translation, please Contact us to discuss the process.
CIRCuiTS is adaptable to fit with cultural norms, for example different currencies and religious requirements (e.g. halal food in shopping tasks).