Implementing experience-based co-design to develop a physical activity programme in recovery-focused outpatient mental health services

Evan W. Matthews, Mary Cowman, Michele Brannigan, Simon Rosenbaum, Darina Sloan, Philip B. Ward, Suzanne Denieffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims As mental health services focus on recovery orientated service delivery, there is a need to adopt recovery orientated approaches in interventions that promote physical activity. This article presents a process of using and modifying an experience-based co-design approach to develop an intervention that can be used to promote physical activity in mental health services: the eMove with Recovery f programme. Methods A facilitated experience-based co-design approach was undertaken over four sessions. This approach included the use of a trigger film of touchpoints and sample physical activity experiences of service users, in addition to the use of a storyboard for emotional mapping and prioritising exercises. The final two co-design sessions involved programme prototyping and development using the TIDieR framework. Results The outcome of this process, the Move with Recovery programme, was a peer.developed and peer-led, community-focused programme structured around nine action points. It is made up of a combination of motivation, education and support sessions, together with light intensity aerobic activity sessions that is structured using the TIDieR framework, and intended for implementation in the recovery college. In this regard, the developed programme is inherently recovery orientated in its design and its aim. Conclusions The developed programme can be embedded into existing mental health services that lack integrated exercise resources. This articles details the experience.based co-design process undertaken here and offers future learning for using experience-based co-design to promote physical activity in mental health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 02 Apr 2022


  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Lived experience
  • Mental illness
  • Recovery


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