University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors


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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2013
EventThe BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference, - University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20136 Sep 2013


ConferenceThe BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference,
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


This study offers an insight into the lives of six people with mental illness and how they have used physical activity and personal medicines to aid their recovery journey. Existing research has identified many therapeutic benefits physical activity during recovery, such as increased wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem, symptom remission, and alleviation of medication side effects (e.g. Faulkner & Taylor, 2005 any others?). However, this body of literature has failed to understand or explore? the wider implications of such benefits in other contexts of people’s lives. This study sought to understand people’s experiences of physical activity in conjunction with their ‘personal medicines’ (Deegan, 2005) during recovery. Accordingly, a photo elicitation method was used to interview six people from a voluntary sector mental health centre. Thereafter, interviews and photographs did you analyse the photos as well? were analysed thematically. Additionally, the authenticity criterion (Lincoln & Guba, 1989) was implemented to demonstrate methodological rigour. The findings highlight the importance of physical activity as a personal medicine and as a method to achieve other personal medicines. Yet caution is also levelled at exercise prescription guided by clinical models of recovery, as a ‘clash of perspectives’ has been suggested to occur when personal medicines are side-lined for clinical recovery, causing people to become oppressed, empty vessels in their recovery (Deegan & Drake, 2007). It is hoped that the impact of these findings will be enhanced through the Pecha Kucha style, whereby, each presentation slide offers respondent and researcher photographs to add depth and richness to the context of this study. Moving beyond text, the ‘chit-chat’ style of the presentation hopes to stimulate audience interpretations on the photographs to further the authenticity of this study. Moreover, audience participation will be welcomed to ‘tweet’ their interpretations @HassResearch.


Paper presented at the BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference, 4-6 September 2013, Huddersfield, UK.

ID: 13869682