Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 4581

Professor Lucy Yardley OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol

Professor of Health Psychology

Professor Lucy Yardley's photo

Professor Lucy Yardley is Professor of Health Psychology at University of Southampton and University of Bristol.

I have a longstanding interest in empowering patients and people in the community to take control over their illness and treatment. Currently my main research focus is on using the internet to support self-management of health. I pioneered the development of the unique ‘LifeGuide’ open source software for developing web-based interventions to support health management (, which is available to a large international network of users. I then led the ‘UBhave’ programme to develop software for creating interventions for mobile phones (the ‘LifeGuide Toolbox’). My current programme of research addresses key questions such as how to maximise engagement with digital interventions and how best to integrate digital support for self-management of health with existing health promotion and healthcare services. I am addressing these questions through the development and evaluation of numerous web-based healthcare interventions funded by over £50 million from the UK research councils, NIHR, medical charities and EC. These include interventions to support weight management, physical activity, reduction of infection transmission and antibiotic over-use, and self-management of numerous long-term health conditions (including cancer, hypertension, diabetes, back pain, asthma, cognitive decline and many other health problems). Through this work I have developed the ‘person-based’ approach (see ) to using mixed methods for intervention development, which has resulted in very effective interventions published in journals such as the Lancet, BMJ and Annals of Internal Medicine. In total, I have over 500 publications (Google Scholar), resulting in over 35,000 citations and an h index of 84.

My professional roles have included Editor-in-Chief of Psychology & Health (journal of the European Society for Health Psychology), core member of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) public health committee A, and member of numerous research funding panels for NIHR, MRC and medical charities.

During the COVID pandemic I was Co-Chair of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza – Behaviour Committee and sat on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). I was awarded an OBE in the Oct 2020 Queen’s Birthday honours, in recognition of my contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Research interests

Current Grants

Cox, A., Yardley, L. et al. (2016-2020) GetAMoveOn: transforming health through enabling mobility. EPSRC, £909,727

Little, P., Yardley, L. (P.I.s) et al. (2016-2020) Cancer: Life Affirming Survivorship support in Primary care (CLASP) Programme. NIHR-PGfAR, £2,499,011

McManus, R., Yardley, L. et al. (2016-2021). Optimising the monitoring and management of raised blood pressure during and after pregnancy. NIHR, £2,498,512

O’Cathain, S. Yardley, L. et al. (2016-2018). Identifying and critiquing different approaches to developing complex interventions (INDEX study). MRC, £380,464.

Heller, S., Yardley, L. et al (2016-2021) Developing and trialling the DAFNEplus (Dose for Adjustment for Normal Eating) intervention. NIHR-PGfAR £2,725,255

Little, P., Yardley, L. et al (2016 – 2021) Screen and TREAt for Malnutrition (STREAM) Programme. NIHR-PGfAR £2,728,152

Peto, T., Yardley, L. et al. (2016-2021) Antibiotic Reduction and Conservation in Hospitals (ARK-Hospital) NIHR-PGfAR, £2,649,834

Gulliford, M., Yardley, L. et al. (2015-2017). Electronically delivered, multi-component intervention to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in primary care. Cluster randomised trial using electronic health records (eCRT2). NIHR-HTA, £533,000.

Bishop, F., Yardley, L. et al. (2014-2016) Non-specific Mechanisms in Orthodox and CAM management of back pain (MOCAM), Arthritis UK, £124,988

Yardley, L. et al. (2014-2019). Integrating Digital Interventions into Patient Self-Management Support (DIPSS). NIHR, £1,998,666.

Yardley, L. et al. (2011-2015). UBhave: ubiquitous and social computing for positive behaviour change, EPSRC, £1,463,061

Amlot, R., Yardley, L. et al. (2013-2015). Improving communication with the public about antivirals and vaccination during the next pandemic. DoH, £506,878.

Little, P., Yardley, L. et al. (2012-2015) Positive Online WEight Reduction (POWER), NIHR HTA, £1,268,299

Taylor, A., Yardley, L. et al. (2014-2017) Interventions to enhance engagement in exercise referral schemes. HTA, £1,341,705

Van den Broucke, S., Yardley, L. et al. (2012-2015). Enhancing the (cost-)effectiveness of diabetes self-management education: A comparative assessment of different educational approaches and conditions for successful implementation, EC, 2.5 million euros.

Thomas, M., Yardley, L. et al. (2011-2014). A controlled study of the effectiveness of breathing training exercises taught by a physiotherapist by either instructional videos/DVDs/internet download or by face-to-face sessions in the management of asthma in adults. NIHR HTA, £1,204,276

Sonuga-Barke, Yardley, L. et al. (2012 - 2015). The impact of global early institutional deprivation during emerging adulthood: pathways to successful transition in the ERA study, ESRC, £825,976

Murray, E. et al. (2010-2015). Development, evaluation and implementation of a computer-based self-management programme for people with Type 2 Diabetes. NIHR, ca. £2,000,000.

Geraghty, A., Yardley, L. et al. (2013-2016). Internet Intervention Supporting Management of Low Back Pain in Primary Care: a feasibility study. NIHR, £246,934

Yardley, L. et al. (2012-2015). Online Dizziness Intervention for Older Adults. Dunhill Medical Trust, £155,380.

Burridge, J., Yardley, L. et al. (2011-2014). Development and pilot evaluation of a web-supported programme of Constraint Induced Therapy following stroke (LifeCIT), NIHR, £238,061

Lamb, S., Yardley, L. et al. (2010-2015). Prevention of falls trial: PreFIT. NIHR, £2,509,848.

Foster, C., Yardley, L. et al. (2009-2014). Macmillan Survivorship Research Group. Macmillan, £1,447,000.

Salisbury, C., Yardley, L. et al. (2009-2014) Expanding the role of NHS Direct in the management of long-term conditions. NIHR, £1, 996,917

Research group

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)

Affiliate research groups

Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, PALS Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, Person Based Approach

Research project(s)


The UBhave project aims to investigate the power and challenges of using mobile phones and social networking for Digital Behaviour Change Interventions (DBCIs).

Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of an Online Dizziness Intervention for Older adults

Acupuncture for Back Pain: Evaluating Patient Outcomes and Their Determinants

Diabetes Literacy

Barriers to effective self-management of asthma: A systematic review

The role of acceptance in adjustment to Meniere's disease

BREATHE (Breathing Retraining for Asthma Trial of Home Exercise)

Although effective medicinal treatment exists for asthma, many people continue to have distressing symptoms and impaired quality of life. People with asthma have expressed interest in non-drug asthma treatments, particularly in breathing exercises. Several recent studies have shown benefits from a short course of breathing exercises taught by a respiratory physiotherapist for people with asthma who remained symptomatic despite usual treatment. We believe that many NHS patients could potentially benefit from these exercises, but unfortunately, there is currently not enough access to suitable trained physiotherapists able to provide such a service. We propose to provide the same breathing training programme that we have previously shown to be effective when taught 'face-to-face' by a physiotherapist in the form of a DVD, or internet download. Patients will use this in their own home at times convenient to them, in addition to their standard treatment (e.g. with inhalers). We will find out whether this type of instruction is better than the 'usual care' that is currently provided, and whether it is as good as the 'face to face' physiotherapist instruction (which is more expensive and less convenient for patients).

Improving communication with the public about antivirals and vaccination during the next pandemic (INfluENCE)

Positive Online Weight Reduction Plus (POWeR+)


Software that enables behavioural scientists to create online behavioural interventions


The DIPSS (Integrating Digital Interventions into Patient Self-Management Support) project has received funding of £2 million from the NIHR to examine patient digital self-management with healthcare professional support in primary care. Our aim is to develop digital behaviour change interventions for asthma and hypertension self-management, which will be examined in feasibility studies and full RCT (hypertension only). Issues surrounding the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital intervention delivery will be explored with patients and healthcare professionals for each condition.

Retrospective Survey of Prevention, Treatment, Occurrence and Outcomes of Covid-19 in the community (RTO-Covid-19)

This is a survey about what people have done to try and prevent and treat Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

DEFINE: Development and evaluation of a FeNO-guided asthma management intervention in primary care

RECON - Reducing and preventing Cognitive impairment iN older age groups (the RECON programme)

REDUCE (REviewing long term anti-Depressant Use by Careful monitoring in Everyday practice)

STREAM - Screen and TREAt for Malnutrition

Reducing common infections in usual practice for recurrent respiratory tract infections: The RECUR Programme

CLASP Cancer: Life Affirming Survivorship support in Primary care

ECO - Eczema Care Online

This programme of research aims to promote effective eczema self-care by improving individuals’ knowledge of eczema treatments and influencing attitudes, skills, and habits related to treatment use.   

Supporting self-management of low back pain with an internet intervention in primary care: A randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost-effectiveness (SupportBack 2)

In the SupportBack 2 trial we aim to find out if an internet intervention, with or without physiotherapist support, can be effective in helping primary care patients manage low back pain.

BREATHE4T (Breathing REtraining for Asthma Trial of Home Exercises for Teenagers)

Germ Defence

A digital behaviour change intervention to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak: A rapid co-design, implementation and evaluation project.

Empathica: Expectation Management for Patients in Primary Care: Developing and Feasibility Testing a New Digital Intervention for Practitioners

Dose for Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE)

 The primary aim of this study is to conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing the new DAFNEplus intervention to the existing DAFNE programme DAFNE stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating. It is a 5-day training course for adults with type 1 diabetes, delivered in small groups. DAFNE has been delivered to over 30,000 adults in the UK.  

Antibiotic Reduction and conservation in hospitals (ARK - Hospital)

There is no good evidence on how best to encourage doctors to stop giving unnecessary antibiotics in hospitals and changing behaviour is hard. The ARK-Hospital Programme is seeking to address this by developing a package of measures – the ‘Antibiotic Review Kit’ – to help healthcare staff stop antibiotics when they are no longer needed, and by testing this package to see if it reduces overall antibiotic use.  

  • Director, Centre for Applications of Health Psychology (CAHP)
  • Co-Director of Behavioural Science theme of NIHR BioMedical Research Centre at University of Southampton
Sort via:TypeorYear



Book Chapters




I supervise the research of a number of MSc, MPhil and PhD students of health psychology, and provide occasional workshops on specialist topics.

Professor Lucy Yardley
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number NNN: 44/3069

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings