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The University of Southampton

New research to develop internet interventions for dizziness

Published: 9 March 2012

Researchers from Psychology in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine have recently been awarded two grants to develop and research internet interventions for dizziness and distress.

Both projects will be led by Dr Adam Geraghty, who has a split role between Psychology and the Faculty of Medicine. Dr Geraghty is developing a programme of research investigating the use of internet interventions in primary care with Professor Lucy Yardley.
In the first project, awarded by the Dunhill Medical Trust (£155k), Dr Geraghty, Professor Lucy Yardley and Dr Sarah Kirby along with leading researchers from the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and Swedish Universities, aim to develop and trial an internet intervention for dizziness targeted specifically at older adults.

The project builds on the previous work of Professor Yardley and Dr Kirby investigating the effectiveness of booklet-based self-management for dizziness, and aims to test the effectiveness of Vestibular Rehabilitation delivered online. Dr Geraghty comments: “We are aiming to design and build an intervention that effectively reduces the symptoms of dizziness, and we also hope to use this project to understand how best to engage older adults with eHealth interventions. Internet use continues to grow and has recently grown at the fastest rate in the over 65s." The intervention will be built in close collaboration with older adults and will also incorporate approaches to target stress and increase well-being.

In the second project, Dr Geraghty, Professor Yardley and a team from the Faculty of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco have been awarded funding by the NIHR National School of Primary Care Research (£45k) to develop an internet intervention for distress management in primary care.
The intervention will aimed at patients who present to primary care experiencing distress, but are not experiencing an emotional disorder. Dr Geraghty comments: "Using the internet will allow GPs to offer a detailed individually tailored intervention to promote mental health, an important area of primary care." As well as developing an internet intervention ready for trials, the team will work with patients to further understand the key barriers to uptake and engagement in internet-based mental health promotion interventions.

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