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Peter Coventry
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research



Dr Peter Coventry is a senior lecturer in health services research with the Mental Health and Addiction Research Group (MHARG) at the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences.

Peter studied sociology at the University of Leicester and completed a PhD in medical sociology at the University of Manchester. He then trained in applied health sciences at the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield. He works across all elements of applied health services research, using evidence synthesis, qualitative methods and trials with a focus on evaluating complex interventions for people with mental health problems and long term conditions. With partners at the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Environment and Geography department he leads on work evaluating the mental and physical health benefits of exposure to and activities in the natural environment, especially among people with serious mental illness.

Peter is also an active collaborator with the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group.


  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, University of Leicester, 1994
  • MA (Econ) Social Anthropology of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, 1996
  • PhD Sociology and History of Medicine, University of Manchester, 2001
  • MSc (Distinction) Health Services Research, University of Sheffield, 2006
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2022

Departmental roles

  • PhD Programme Lead
  • Chair Research Degrees Committee

University roles



Pete's research uses a range of applied methodological approaches to:

  • Design and evaluate systems and service level interventions for people with physical and mental multimorbidity
  • Improve understanding of the links between ecosystems and human health and wellbeing
  • Design and evaluate nature-based solutions to improve the health of people with mental health problems and multiple long-term conditions.


  • Connected Treescapes:  is a 3-year NERC funded multi-centre programme to understand the social, health, and cultural benefits of trees and woodlands across the UK's towns and cities. This project will provide important new knowledge and understanding on how current decisions regarding treescapes today can secure and enhance a wide range of benefits from trees and woodlands for current and future generations.
  • DIAMONDS (Diabetes and Mental Illness, Improving Outcomes and Self-management): . This is a five year NIHR programme grant to develop tailored self-management interventions for people with serious mental illness and diabetes. Knowledge translation work will also ensure the interventions will be generalizable to populations with other long term conditions, such as COPD. Pete is leading the feasibility trial that will test the intervention before definitive evaluation in a large randomised controlled trial. Updates and news on Twitter: @diamonds_nihr
  • SCEPTRE (Promoting Smoking CEssation and PrevenTing Relapse) is a 6-year programme funded by the NIHR focusing on developing strategies to support people with serious mental illness to become or stay smokefree after discharge from a mental health in-patient stay. Pete will be leading the process evaluation that is part of a definitive trial of candidate behaviour change techniques.

  • Yorkshire and Humber Applied Research Collaboration (YH-ARC): as part of the mental and physical multimorbidity theme Pete leads a programme of work on using greenspace as a community based asset to improve mental and physical health, especially in older adults. This theme will use a combination of big data analytics and pilot testing of interventions to promote the use of green space to enhance physical and mental health. Follow @NIHR_ARC_YH for news and updates

  • BASIL: Behavioural Activation in Social IsoLation (BASIL): Following the Covid-19 pandemic, older adults and those with long term physical health conditions were instructed by the UK government to follow social distancing/isolation guidelines (to include strict isolation for the most vulnerable in this group) to protect their own and other’s health. This enforced isolation will lead to a disruption of daily routine, loss of social contact and loneliness; and this in turn may further increase the risk of depression and anxiety in this group. The BASIL trial is a NIHR urgent public health study that will test whether an adapted version of behavioural activation – a talking therapy – can support older adults with are now socially isolated.

  • Multimorbidity in Older Adults (MODS): is a NIHR programme to develop, refine and test an intervention (behavioural activation) designed to help support older adults (65+ years) who have two or more long term physical health conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, heart problems) and depression or low mood. Pete will be leading the process evaluation in the main trial. Updates and news on Twitter: @MODS_Research_

  • Closing the Gap Network+: a UK Research and Innovation funded mental health network to understand why people with severe mental illness have some of the worst physical health issues of any section of the population. Pete is co-leading (with Prof Piran White) the Green and Blue Space research theme that aims to investigate how to harness the natural environment to improve physical health and well-being of people with serious mental illness. Updates and news on Twitter: @CTGNetworkUK

Recently completed projects

  • The HEALTH study: This project funded by NIHR HS & DR systematically reviewed the evidence for effectiveness of multiple behaviour change interventions for modifying lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking, diet) known to be associated with poor physical health and premature mortality in people with serious mental illness. Updates and news on Twitter: @UoY_HEALTH_SMI
  • INCiTE (Interventions for Complex Traumatic Events): Funded by NIHR Health Technology and Assessment programme this project systematically reviewed the effectiveness and acceptability of psychological and pharmacological interventions for people with a history of complex traumatic events. The project paper was published in PLoS Medicine. News on Twitter: @UoY_INCiTE

Research group(s)


Pete is interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas: public mental health; natural environment and mental and physical multimorbidity; psychosocial treatment and primary care mental health; evidence synthesis; qualitative research; pilot and feasibility trials.


Full publications list



Contributing lecturer for:

Peter is able to supervise Masters projects with a broad focus on managing common mental health problems and physical comorbidity. Specific areas of interest include psychological therapies (e.g. behavioural interventions) and social and environmental interventions (e.g. social prescribing; green and urban space). Favoured approaches for Masters projects are systematic reviews (both quantitative and qualitative) or other forms of literature reviews such as scoping reviews.  

External activities


External appointments

Editorial duties

External examiner

  • External Examiner for UCL Evidence-Based Healthcare Board of Examiners

Peter Coventry

Contact details

Dr Peter Coventry
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research

Tel: 01904 32(1528)