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Professor Lucy Yardley

Professor Lucy Yardley

Professor Lucy Yardley
MSc(Soton.), PhD(Soton.)


Area of research

Digital health

Office 1D20
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 1173310781


I have an international reputation for developing and trialing health behaviour change and self-management interventions (especially web-based), mixed methods and qualitative research in psychology, and have published research leading behavioural interventions, clinical trials, epidemiological surveys, questionnaire development and attitude measurement, experimental neuroscience studies and qualitative research. My expertise in a very wide range of sub-disciplines and methods has resulted in first, second or senior authored publications in leading journals, that include: medicine (Lancet, British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine), public and applied health (American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Journal of Medical Internet Research, International Journal of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Implementation Science), behavioural and social science applied to health (Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Social Science and Medicine, Psychology and Health), and neuroscience (Brain, Neuropsychologia).

My principal current research focus is on using the internet to support self-management of health. In 2008 I pioneered the ESRC-funded development of the unique ‘LifeGuide’ open source software for developing web-based intervention (, and subsequently led the EPSRC-funded ‘UBhave’ programme to develop software for creating interventions for mobile phones (the ‘LifeGuide Toolbox’). My current research programme addresses how to maximise engagement with digital interventions, using the ‘person-based approach’ to intervention development, and how best to integrate digital support for self-management of health with existing health promotion and healthcare services.

In total, I have nearly 500 publications (Google Scholar), resulting in over 20,000 citations and an h index of 70.  I have been principal investigator on grants totaling over £10 million from ESRC, EPSRC, Wellcome, NIHR and other sources, and  have been co-investigator on grants totaling well over £60 million (funding bodies include MRC, ESRC, EC, NIHR, HTA, Wellcome Trust, other medical charities). I have collaborated on published papers with numerous international colleagues, including as work-package leader on three EC-funded research projects, and published collaborations with researchers in the US (e.g. Harvard University, NorthWestern University, University of California) and Europe (e.g. Heidelberg University, Maastricht University).

I am an NIHR Senior Investigator and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and have been editor-in chief of Psychology and Health (official journal for the European Health Psychology Society), associate editor for the British Journal of Health Psychology and consulting editor for the journals Social Theory and Health, and Health (both international multidisciplinary journals). I have served on numerous funding bodies, including the NIHR Public Health Research panel, the NIHR Panel for evaluation of Applied Programme Grants, various MRC panels for specific calls, the CRUK Population and Behavioural Sciences Funding Committee, MRC and ESRC College of Experts, and the Expert Panel for Department of Health National Co-ordinating Centre for Research Capacity Development.  I was a core member of the NICE Public Health committee A (2013 to 2016), and have acted as consultant to the Department of Health (e.g. NHS Choices Advisory Panel, NHS LifeCheck) and served on the UK Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee and the Longitude Prize Advisory Panel (Antibiotics). I have also led MSc and PhD programmes in Health Psychology, served as Head of the School of Psychology for 3 years, supervised over 20 PhD students, and am currently Co-Director of the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology.


I have a longstanding interest in how best to empower patients and people in the community to take control over their illness and treatment. I am addressing this question through the development and evaluation of numerous digital interventions for members of the public and health professionals, including 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). After carrying out large clinical trials of these interventions showing they are cost-effective (published in Lancet, BMJ and similar journals) they are made available nationally and internationally through partnerships with the public, third and private sector. Through this work I have pioneered the 'Person-Based Approach' (see which combines in-depth mixed methods research with co-design and behavioural analysis to develop and optimise accessible and effective healthcare solutions. In total, I have over 500 publications (Google Scholar), resulting in over 30,000 citations and an h index of 80.  I have been chief investigator on grants totalling over £10 million and principal or co-investigator on grants totalling well over £75 million (funding bodies include NIHR, MRC, ESRC, EPSRC, EC and medical charities).

I am a NIHR Senior Investigator and my roles at University of Bristol include behavioural theme lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration-West and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit and co-Director (Research) for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health and Care. I have a continuing role at University of Southampton as Director of the LifeGuide Research Programme and the Behavioural Science theme of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Previous roles have included Editor-in-Chief of Psychology & Health (journal of the European Society for Health Psychology), core or expert topic member of NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) panels in public health, behaviour change (technology) and antimicrobial stewardship, and member of research funding panels for NIHR, MRC and medical charities.


I am co-Director (Research) for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health and Care, give lectures and workshops to undergraduate and postgraduate studets, supervise third year, MSc and PhD student research projects and mentor early career staff.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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