Motiv8: A randomized feasibility trial of a weight management intervention for adults on secure forensic mental health inpatient units

Led by: Rebekah Carney

What is Motiv8?

Motiv8 is a weight management intervention program aimed at improving the physical health of service users using forensic inpatient services at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The program is a randomised controlled trial and has been created by both service users and staff with the goal of improving overall health outcomes.

Motiv8 is a 9-week program that includes group exercise sessions, cooking classes, physical health education and psychological interventions, all supported by service users. This program is designed to help individuals achieve better physical health and well-being, and to ultimately improve their quality of life. 

Why is Motiv8 important?

Motiv8 is an important program due to the high prevalence of physical health problems among individuals who use inpatient mental health services. This population is more likely to experience physical health problems for a variety of reasons, such as unhealthy lifestyles, low motivation, long hospital stays, weight gain caused by medications, limited freedom to exercise, and restrictions on movement. Many of these physical health problems are preventable and can include serious conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.  


The program has been tested and has been shown to result in weight loss, improved fitness, increased confidence, and improved mood among participants. By addressing physical health problems in this population, Motiv8 aims to improve overall health outcomes and quality of life for individuals using inpatient mental health services. 

What are the aims of Motiv8?

The aims of the Motiv8 program are two-fold: 

  1.  To determine the feasibility, effectiveness, and benefit of the program within the NHS. 
  2. To assess whether Motiv8 can improve the physical health of individuals in forensic inpatient

By achieving these aims, the  program seeks to improve the overall health outcomes and well-being of individuals using inpatient mental health services, with the goal of enhancing their quality of life. 


What is involved?

The Motiv8 program involves several key components: 

  • Physical health assessments: Participants will undergo physical health assessments including measurements of body mass index (BMI), fitness levels, and body measurements. 
  • Mental health and behavioural questionnaires: Participants will also complete questionnaires aimed at assessing their mental health, behavioural patterns, mood, exercise habits, and diet. 
  • Randomisation into two groups: Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group 1 will receive Motiv8 for 9 weeks, in addition to treatment as usual (TAU), while Group 2 will receive only TAU for 9 weeks, followed by Motiv8.  

Motiv8 program access will be provided to all participants at some point. This means that everyone who is involved will have the opportunity to utilise the resources and possible benefits offered by the program. The timing of the access will vary depending on the randomisation outcome.


By providing this opportunity to all involved, we will be able to understand the possible benefits to more participants and ensure that everyone who signs up to take part in the research trial gets access to the Motiv8 program.


To evaluate the Motiv8 program, assessments will be conducted at various time points. These assessments will happen at three different stages: baseline, after 9 weeks, and after 12 weeks. The purpose of conducting these assessments is to help us to compare between when participants who have received the Motiv8 program and the time whilst they were waiting. This comparison will help to determine the potential benefits for participants.


By conducting assessments at different time points, it will be possible to identify any changes or improvements that have occurred over time. This information will be useful in refining the program to improve its effectiveness in the future. Overall, these assessments will provide valuable insights into the impact of the Motiv8 program on the participants and will help to inform future decisions regarding the development of the program.


As part of the evaluation of the Motiv8 program, the researchers will conduct interviews with some of those who took part. The aim of these interviews is to gather feedback and experiences from the participants regarding their involvement in the program.


This data will help to determine the feasibility, effectiveness, and benefits of the Motiv8 program. In particular, the researchers are interested in how the program has impacted the physical health outcomes of individuals in forensic inpatient services. By conducting these interviews, the researchers hope to gain a better understanding of how the program has affected the participants’ well-being and to identify any areas where improvements could be made.


This information will be used to refine and improve the program, ensuring that it continues to deliver positive outcomes for individuals in forensic inpatient services. Overall, the interviews with participants are a crucial component of the evaluation process, providing valuable insights into the real-world impact of the program. 

When is Motiv8 taking place?

The first Motiv8 programme started in December 2021 and all research data will be collected by March 2023. 

More information:

Participation in the Motiv8 study is completely voluntary and participants have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without giving a reason. If you are interested in finding out more about the study you can get in touch with the research team. They will be happy to answer any questions you have and provide more information about the study. 



 Dr Rebekah Carney OR Professor Sophie Parker 

Chief Investigator OR  

0161 358 6595  


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Trial Referrers


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Motiv8 Study Poster

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