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Supporting physical activity through co-production in people with severe mental ill health (SPACES): protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility trial

Jones, G., Bailey, L., Beeken, R. J. , Brady, S., Cooper, C., Copeland, R. J., Crosland, S., Dawson, S., Faires, M., Gilbody, S., Haynes, H., Hill, A., Hillison, E., Horspool, M., Lee, E., Li, J., Machaczek, K. K., Parrott, S., Quirk, H., Stubbs, B., Tew, G. A., Traviss-Turner, G., Turton, E., Walker, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-2459-7860, Walters, S., Weich, S., Wildbore, E. & Peckham, E. (2024). Supporting physical activity through co-production in people with severe mental ill health (SPACES): protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 10, article number 32. doi: 10.1186/s40814-024-01460-0


Severe mental ill health (SMI) includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder and is associated with premature deaths when compared to people without SMI. Over 70% of those deaths are attributed to preventable health conditions, which have the potential to be positively affected by the adoption of healthy behaviours, such as physical activity. People with SMI are generally less active than those without and face unique barriers to being physically active. Physical activity interventions for those with SMI demonstrate promise, however, there are important questions remaining about the potential feasibility and acceptability of a physical activity intervention embedded within existing NHS pathways.

This is a two-arm multi-site randomised controlled feasibility trial, assessing the feasibility and acceptability of a co-produced physical activity intervention for a full-scale trial across geographically dispersed NHS mental health trusts in England. Participants will be randomly allocated via block, 1:1 randomisation, into either the intervention arm or the usual care arm. The usual care arm will continue to receive usual care throughout the trial, whilst the intervention arm will receive usual care plus the offer of a weekly, 18-week, physical activity intervention comprising walking and indoor activity sessions and community taster sessions. Another main component of the intervention includes one-to-one support. The primary outcome is to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and to scale it up to a full-scale trial, using a short proforma provided to all intervention participants at follow-up, qualitative interviews with approximately 15 intervention participants and 5 interventions delivery staff, and data on intervention uptake, attendance, and attrition. Usual care data will also include recruitment and follow-up retention. Secondary outcome measures include physical activity and sedentary behaviours, body mass index, depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, healthcare resource use, and adverse events. Outcome measures will be taken at baseline, three, and six-months post randomisation.

This study will determine if the physical activity intervention is feasible and acceptable to both participants receiving the intervention and NHS staff who deliver it. Results will inform the design of a larger randomised controlled trial assessing the clinical and cost effectiveness of the intervention.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Publisher Keywords: Exercise, Health Behaviour, Pilot Studies, Severe Mental Illness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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