About LifeGuide

The LifeGuide research programme is a multidisciplinary initiative led by Professor Lucy Yardley (Psychology) and Dr Mark Weal (Computer Science) at the University of Southampton.

We have developed a unique set of open source software tools, the ‘LifeGuide’, that allows intervention designers with no experience of programming to create interactive web-based interventions to support healthy behaviour.

Using this software platform, we have been developing and successfully trialling numerous interventions for PC, tablet and smart phone, including public health interventions (e.g. for weight management, physical activity support, hand hygiene, smoking cessation) and illness management interventions (e.g. for hypertension, diabetes, cancer, back pain, dizziness, fatigue, stress, stroke, respiratory conditions, eczema and irritable bowel).

Our interventions are now being disseminated in the UK and internationally by the NHS, public health teams and education websites for health professionals.

With regret, due to the legal complexities of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), we can no longer support new external users of LifeGuide. It is simply not possible for us to accommodate new users as we do not have enough capacity to undertake the extensive contracting procedures that universities now require. We will continue to support existing external users who have already contacted us about their project, and will arrange a contract between our institutions.

Click 'Find out more' to register for an account and for information and advice on how to begin creating an online intervention.

Our research programme

  • Since LifeGuide commenced in 2008, research collaborations with our team to develop and trial web-based interventions using LifeGuide have attracted funding of well over £30 million (from MRC, EPSRC, ESRC, NIHR, EC and medical charities); we have already secured funding up to 2020.
  • Our first intervention to be fully trialled (INTRO) substantially reduced antibiotic prescribing in six European countries and was published in the Lancet.
  • Our second intervention (PRIMIT), developed to combat the spread of infection in the next influenza pandemic, has been successfully trialled in 20,000 people, and has also been accepted for the Lancet.
  • We have already published well over 50 development papers and reports of feasibility and community trials based on this research programme; numerous further papers will be forthcoming as our trials are completed.

Our support for intervention development

  • The LifeGuide Community website now has over 2000 members worldwide, and the LifeGuide software has been downloaded over 1000 times.
  • Numerous researchers (including postgraduate students) in the UK and internationally have independently created interventions that we are hosting on our server, and other teams are creating interventions that they are hosting themselves.
  • Our web-based ‘LifeGuide Community’ resources support intervention designers by providing the software for free download, together with wikis, demos and facilities for all members of research teams to comment on every page of the intervention during development.