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The Efficacy, Feasibility And Acceptability Of A Remotely Accessible Use Of CIRCuiTS, A Computerized Cognitive Remediation Therapy Program For Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

Authors Palumbo D, Mucci A, Giordano GM, Piegari G, Aiello C, Pietrafesa D, Annarumma N, Chieffi M, Cella M, Galderisi S

Received 2 July 2019

Accepted for publication 29 August 2019

Published 8 November 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3103—3113


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Davide Palumbo,1 Armida Mucci,1 Giulia Maria Giordano,1 Giuseppe Piegari,1 Carmen Aiello,1 Daria Pietrafesa,1 Nicola Annarumma,1 Marcello Chieffi,1 Matteo Cella,2 Silvana Galderisi1

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy; 2Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (ioppn), King’s College London, London, UK

Correspondence: Armida Mucci
Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, L.go Madonna delle Grazie 1, 80138 Naples, Italy
Tel +39-81-5665153

Introduction: The Computerized Interactive Remediation of Cognition – Training for Schizophrenia (CIRCuiTS) is a form of cognitive remediation therapy developed to target neurocognitive and metacognitive deficits of people with schizophrenia, which have a detrimental impact on real-life functioning. The English version of CIRCuiTS demonstrated good acceptability and feasibility. A recent randomized controlled trial provided evidence that the program improves memory and functioning, and that the impact on functional outcome is mediated by metacognition. The next steps in the development of CIRCuiTS include both: 1) the translation and adaptation of the program in different cultural settings; and 2) the demonstration of feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a standardized method to administer CIRCuiTS remotely.
Purpose: To implement the CIRCuiTS Italian version and to assess acceptability, feasibility and efficacy of a standardized method to administer CIRCuiTS remotely.
Methods: Participants were assessed at baseline and received up to 40 CIRCuiTS therapy sessions, three times a week, for about 1 hr over a three-month period. Participants were reassessed post-treatment.
Results: The program demonstrated good feasibility and high acceptability when assessed by the number of dropouts and evaluation of patients’ satisfaction. Participants improved in learning, speed of processing, working memory and executive control. They showed a reduction in disorganization and improvement in self-esteem, functional capacity, and real-life functioning.
Conclusion: In this study, a standardized protocol for using CIRCuiTS from home was implemented. The first set of data showed in the paper is encouraging. The proposed procedure could lead to a dropout reduction while maintaining the efficacy of the program.

Keywords: cognition, cognitive training, metacognition, real-life functioning

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