Behavioural science research

To help people lead healthy lives, we have a number of tools – some which are already being used and some which are still in the development stage – to make it easier for people to make small lifestyle changes that have big health benefits.

Theme leads: Professor Lucy Yardley and Professor Mary Barker

Digital interventions

We have developed websites and smart phone applications to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles. These include supporting adults with weight management, being more physically active, stopping smoking and self-managing many medical conditions.

For younger people, we are developing a series of digital games to influence behavioural change and support them lead healthier lives, including to eat better and be more active.

Educational interventions

We know that if we engage young people to think about their health, they are more likely to make a change.

LifeLab is a secondary school science facility, located at Southampton General Hospital, and has been visited by over 10,000 students. Visitors carry out hands-on experiments which show how lifestyle choices can affect long-term health. We have now expanded this project to include younger children, known as ‘Primary LifeLab’.

In-person interventions

We also understand the value of face-to-face support from healthcare staff, and are investigating how to provide better personal support to patients and the public in managing existing health conditions and making healthy lifestyle choices. 

This work will help us to further develop our Healthy Conversations skills training programme for healthcare practitioners.

Current BRC-supported Early Career Researchers

Title of Phd research
Jazinne Smith
Improving quality of life for cancer survivors: understanding how a digital behaviour change intervention works and how to maximise its implementation in practice
Kate Bradbury
Carmel McGrath
Exploring the impacts of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in health research: methods, outcomes and learning for best practice
Mary Barker
Sarah Correia-Simao
Harnessing adolescent values and motivations for dietary change
Sofia Stromer