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Bristol’s Professor Yardley awarded OBE for services to Covid-19 response

University of Bristol

The Queen’s Birthday Honours recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.

Professor Lucy Yardley is an internationally renowned health psychologist whose significant contribution to the coronavirus response has led to her being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

She is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Bristol and sits on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – the group tasked with providing scientific advice to aid government decision makers during the coronavirus pandemic. As co-chair of SPI-B, the sub-group that provide behavioural input to SAGE, Professor Yardley has provided evidence-based advice and expertise throughout the pandemic, particularly in relation to supporting people to implement measures designed to reduce the impact of the virus.

Professor Yardley’s main research focus is on empowering people to take control and self-manage their health, especially by developing and evaluating digital interventions. She led the development of the ‘Germ Defence’ web app which helps users adopt better infection control in the home, and was shown to reduce infections and illness in the home in the H1N1 pandemic and seasonal flu years. She has now been funded by UKRI to update and rapidly disseminate Germ Defence to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Professor Yardley is co-leading work on several more research projects to combat Covid-19 and reduce its negative impacts on people in her role as theme lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration-West and Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Yardley said:

“At a time when so many people are making such a wonderful effort to help us all get through this difficult time I feel very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to try to make a positive contribution through SAGE and my research.”

Professor Yardley holds a joint role at the University of Southampton as Director of the LifeGuide Research Programme and the Behavioural Science theme of the University of Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

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