A feasibility hybrid II randomised controlled trial of volunteer ‘Health Champions’ supporting people with serious mental illness manage their physical health: study protocol

Julie Williams, Elli Fairbairn, Ray McGrath, Ioannis Bakolis, Andy Healey, Ubong Akpan, Isabel Mdudu, Fiona Gaughran, Euan Sadler, Zarnie Khadjesari, Kate Lillywhite, Nick Sevdalis

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People with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia often also have physical health illnesses and interventions are needed to address the resultant multimorbidity and reduced life expectancy. Research has shown that volunteers can support people with SMI. This protocol describes a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a novel intervention involving volunteer ‘Health Champions’ supporting people with SMI to manage and improve their physical health.


This is a feasibility hybrid II randomised effectiveness-implementation controlled trial. The intervention involves training volunteers to be ‘Health Champions’ to support individual people with SMI using mental health services. This face-to-face or remote support will take place weekly and last for up to 9 months following initial introduction. This study will recruit 120 participants to compare Health Champions to treatment as usual for people with SMI using secondary community mental health services in South London, UK. We will measure the clinical and cost effectiveness including quality of life. We will measure the implementation outcomes of acceptability, feasibility, appropriateness, fidelity, barriers and enablers, unintended consequences, adoption and sustainability.


There is a need for interventions to support people with SMI with their physical health. If this feasibility trial is successful, a definitive trial will follow to fully evaluate the clinical, cost and implementation effectiveness of Health Champions supporting people with SMI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


  • Intervention
  • Physical health
  • Serious mental illness
  • Volunteers

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