People with SMIs and Exercise

Our paper on an exercise intervention for people with serious mental illness has been published in Health Expectations Open Access: An International Journal of Public Participation in Health Care and Health Policy.


People with severe mental illness (SMI) often have poorer physical health than the general population. A co-produced physical activity intervention to improve physical activity for people with SMI in Northern Ireland was evaluated by co-researchers (researchers with lived experience of SMI) and academic researchers using a new approach to participatory data analysis called Participatory Theme Elicitation (PTE). Co-researchers and academic researchers analysed the data from the pilot study using PTE. This paper aims to compare these analyses to validate the findings of the study and explore the validity of the PTE method in the context of the evaluation of a physical activity intervention for individuals with SMI. There was alignment and congruence of some themes across groups. Important differences in the analyses across groups included the use of language, with the co-researchers employing less academic and clinical language, and structure of themes generated, with the academic researchers including sub themes under some umbrella themes. The comparison of analyses supports the validity of the PTE approach, which is a meaningful way of involving people with lived experience in research. PTE addresses the power imbalances that are often present in the analysis process and was found to be acceptable by co-researchers and academic researchers alike.

Yap, J., McCartan, C.,  Davidson, G., White, C., Bradley, L., Webb, P., Badham, J., Breslin, G. & Best, P. (2020) An exercise intervention for people with serious mental illness: findings from a qualitative data analysis using participatory theme elicitation, Health Expectations, 00: 1 – 15.