Behavioural science

We are using a variety of approaches to improve health-related behaviours in patients and the public, through the BRC Centre for Participatory Medicine, to benefit both themselves and the NHS. 

Key investigator: Prof Lucy Yardley

With extensive experience developing digital interventions, Prof Lucy Yardley is leading our research into new ways to empower patients to change their behaviour and self-manage their condition.

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Digital interventions

Lucy Yardley

Using the software platform LifeGuide we have developed, we are generating digital interventions such as apps that empower patients to get healthy or manage their own condition. Such digital interventions can help to promote healthy behaviours such as weight management, exercise and stopping smoking, as well as aiding the self-management of a wide range of conditions. We are now looking at how the addition of sensors could make prompts context-dependent, and are working with game designers to increase engagement. 

Educational interventions

Mark Hanson

LifeLab is our project to advance health literacy in secondary school students through hands-on learning at our purpose-built facility within University Hospital Southampton. Since 2009, 93% of schools approached have participated, involving over 4,000 students, and the potential for roll-out to other hospitals is now being discussed. Building on this initial success, we are introducing two new LifeLab schemes; Primary LifeLab, which will widen the reach to younger children, and SaintsLab, a partnership with Southampton Football Club to engage adolescents in increased physical activity.

In-person interventions

Mary Barker

In combination with our digital interventions, we are investigating how we can adapt face-to-face support by health care practitioners to better support patients and the public, allowing them to manage their condition and improve their health. This will build on our existing Healthy Conversation Skills training programme for health care practitioners.

Translational activities

Paul Little

Through the BRC Centre for Participatory Medicine, we are working with patients and the public to develop methods to engage and motivate them to better manage their health conditions. Using data on how patients and the public respond to treatments, we aim to develop a personalised approach, so that each individual receives the best care for them.