If you want to take part in the OUTSIDE Study Find Out More

The OUTSIDE study. A randomised controlled trial.

The OUTdoor Swimming as a nature-based Intervention for DEpression (OUTSIDE) study aims to find out if swimming outdoors can reduce symptoms and improve the lives of people experiencing depression and low mood.

Depression and low mood are common experiences worldwide. In the UK, about 1 in 6 people will experience depression during their lifetime.

We will have outdoor swimming courses, offered as part of the research study, at locations across England including: Please see our LOCATIONS page for further details.

The OUTSIDE study is led by researchers at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Portsmouth along with colleagues working in other NHS Trusts and Universities. It is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

If you want to take part in the OUTSIDE study

Complete the brief sign-up form to express your interest (with no obligation to take part). You will then receive an email confirming your expression of interest. This will include a detailed participant information sheet along with a link to a short questionnaire and a consent form. One of the members of our research team will then get in touch with you about the next stages.

If you are eligible and consent to take part, you will be randomly allocated to join an 8-session swim course either this summer (the intervention group) or next summer (the control group).

We would like to emphasise that you can stop taking part in the swim course and/or the study at any time. We may ask you for feedback and why you have chosen to withdraw, but you do not have to give a reason.

Outdoor Swimming General Information

Am I Eligible?

To take part in the study you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Currently have symptoms of depression
  • Swimming ability – this will depend on your nearest swimming location. Some locations will require that you can swim at least 2 lengths of a standard pool and some locations are open to non-swimmers. Please click here to find requirements for the swimming location nearest to you and if you are unsure feel free to get in touch.
  • Have no serious medical conditions that would make open water swimming unsafe for you. This will be determined by a member of our medical team who can review your health history questionnaire.

Monday to Friday 09.00 to 17.00

Send us an email spnt.OUTSIDE@NHS.net