SLOWED SPEED OF
Slowed speed of information processing is a common problem after brain injury and entails difficulties with processing and retaining information. Individuals may experience that the world around them moves at a pace that is too fast for them to follow. These problems can become apparent in daily life, for example, during conversations or driving a car. As a consequence, people with slowed information processing speed may experience problems such as feelings of fatigue, altered mood, and irritability. The frequency of these complaints and their impact on the lives of individuals with acquired brain injury make slowed information processing speed a prime target for cognitive rehabilitation.
The game-supported strategy training is based on Time Pressure Management (TPM) training, a proven successful treatment for individuals who experience a slowed IPS (Fasotti et al., 2000b; Winkens, Van Heugten, Wade, & Fasotti, 2009; Winkens & Fasotti, 2010). TPM is a compensatory strategy training that allows individuals to recognize and deal with moments of time pressure in everyday situations. The method is based on the basic self-instruction: "Let me give myself enough time to do the task". The method consists of five steps in which a person learns to compensate for their slowed speed of information processing. They learn to make a plan prior to the situation, to determine in what task steps time pressure plays a role, to apply strategies to prevent and deal with this imposed time pressure, and to come up with an emergency plan for unexpected events.
The game-supported TEMPO training encompasses an adapted version of the TPM training that is complemented by a custom-designed strategy game (TEMPO game) and mobile application (TEMPO tool). The game and tool are an addition to the treatment and not a replacement for the role of the therapist or the treatment itself. They support the learning process of the individual and enable them to practice the TPM strategy at home, making adherence more convenient. The content of the game and tool follows the pace of the treatment: the individual will only be able to apply the strategies they have learned during the treatment to ensure an optimal learning curve.
The TEMPO game aims to practice and apply the time pressure management strategies that the person is taught during the treatment. This gives the person an interactive and motivating method to practice at home. During the first phase of the treatment, the person will practice recognizing time pressure in different situations presented in the game. During the second phase, the person will practice TPM strategies to recognize, prevent and handle time pressure. The game follows the pace of the treatment: the person will only be able to apply the strategies that they have learned during the treatment. During the third phase, the person will continue to practice recognizing, preventing and handling time pressure and the level of the game will become increasingly difficult. In addition, the game also provides an overview of a person’s progress. This gives the trainer a better understanding of the overall progress and the application of the strategies based on the results of the game.
The TPM tool is aims to give support during the execution of daily activities in their home environment. The TPM tool is a mobile application that helps the person to execute activities step-by-step according to the TPM method. In the TPM tool, a person can fill in an step-by-step action plan, indicate which steps impose time pressure, and create strategies that can help them to either prevent or handle time pressure. After this, a person can use their mobile phones for guided practice for the activities they have set up in the tool. The step-by-step action plans are either created together with a licensed therapist during the training sessions or individually at home.