Circuit Class Therapy for Rehabilitation After Stroke - A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of therapy intensity (CIRCIT)

Recruitment Update- Recruitment is finished - we have hit our target of 282.

About the Trial

For people receiving rehabilitation after stroke, maximizing the amount of physical therapy they receive is vital to maximizing their functional outcomes. But the most effective and cost-effective way of organizing therapy services to maximize patient therapy input is not known. This exciting and novel trial will compare investigate different models of delivering a greater amount of physical therapy (mobility and upper limb related) to people in rehabilitation post-stroke. These are:

  • Usual care therapy (five days a week)

  • Usual care therapy provided over seven days a week

  • Group circuit class therapy (up to three hours day, five days a week)

The investigating team is led by a team from UniSA, Department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care, Flinders University and the National Stroke Research Institute, Melbourne and includes clinicians from the participating rehabilitation centres in South Australia and Victoria.

If you or your workplace are interested in becoming involved in the CIRCIT trial please do not hesitate to contact either Dr Susan Hillier or Dr Coralie English.


Circuit Class Therapy Intervention Manual 

Front cover of the CIRCIT trial Manual

Circuit class therapy intervention manual is now available for purchase as a hard copy or pdf download. This evidence-based clinical resource will be of use to clinicians working in rehabilitation settings for people with mobility disorders. It is a practical 'how to' guide for implementing circuit class therapy for people receiving hospital or centre-based rehabilitation. It is also an excellent resource for student learning.

The manual is written as a guide to support the provision of circuit class therapy by providing a model or framework for CCT delivery, a clinical reasoning algorithm to guide decision making around the most appropriate exercises and activities to include in classes as well as an extensive list of possible exercises to include set out in easy to follow tables. The manual is based on the content from previous clinical trials (English et al 2007) and there is growing overall evidence for CCT (English and Hillier 2010). The manual also includes a link to a free book chapter download which outlines
the evidence base for circuit class therapy in more detail.

The Circuit class therapy intervention manual is now available for purchase in either hard copy form ($55 + postage) or as a pdf download ($45). (Students can purchase a hard copy for the price of a pdf download, plus postage.) An order form is available here.

English C, Hillier S, Stiller K and Warden-Flood A (2007) Circuit class therapy versus individual therapy sessions during inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 88:955-63.
English C, Hillier SL. Circuit class therapy for improving mobility after stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD007513. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007513.pub2


Investigators involved in the project

Dr Susan Hillier (Project Manager)

Dr Susan Hillier is a Senior Lecturer within thePhysiotherapy Program, University of South Australia and is an active researcher within the Stroke and Rehabilitation Research Group of the iCAHE. Dr Hillier is the Project Manager for CIRCIT. Her roles include chairing the Steering Committee and Operations Committee, managing financial aspects of the project and providing oversight for data collection, auditing, analysis and promulgation of results. Click here for Susan's homepage.

Dr Coralie English (Trial Manager)

Dr Coralie English is  Lecturer within the Physiotherapy Program, University of South Australia and is an active researcher within the Stroke and Rehabilitation Research Group of the iCAHE. She is also an NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the National Stroke Research Institute (part of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes). Dr English is the Trial Manager for CIRCIT. Her roles include leading day to day co-ordination of recruitment, participant flow, provision of the interventions and audits of the trial protocol. She is also responsible for training and supporting the delivery of circuit class therapy. Click here for Coralie's homepage.

Professor Maria Crotty

Professor Maria Crotty is a clinical academic and specialist in rehabilitation medicine. She is the Director of Rehabilitation at Repatriation General Hospital, South Australia. Professor Crotty will facilitate recruitment at rehabilitation sites, monitor participant progress with regards to clinical outcomes, and assist with monitoring of adverse events.

Professor Leonie Segal

Professor Segal is the Research Chair of the Health Economics and Policy Group at the University of South Australia. Her role is to oversee and advise on the health economic evaluation within the CIRCIT trial. Click here for Leonie's homepage.

Associate Professor Julie Bernhardt

A/Professor Bernhardt is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow with the National Stroke Research Institute (part of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes). She is an experienced multicentre trialist and her role will be to provide support for trial management and to oversee the management of the trial in Victoria specifically.

Professor Adrian Esterman

Professor Esterman is the Professor of Biostatistics within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia. His role is to advise on study design, data management and oversee randomisation procedures and data analyses.



Read the newsletter produced as part of the CIRCIT trial.

Current issue

Issue 4: November 2012 (PDF 528 KB)


Issue 1: September 2010 (PDF 628 KB)

Issue 2: November 2011 (PDF 546 KB)

Issue 3: May 2012  (PDF 547 KB)


Areas of study and research

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