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Professor Lucy Yardley is a Reader in Psychology at Southampton University working in the field of health psychology. She previously trained and worked as an audiological scientist, carrying out tests and rehabilitation for vestibular disorders and hearing problems in hospital clinics. This clinical experience provided the basis for her longstanding research interest in dizziness and vestibular disorders.
She has published research on many aspects of the problem of dizziness and vertigo, including studies of how common and handicapping it is, the circumstances which make it more or less handicapping, the basic mechanisms of orientation perception and postural control and how these are affected by thoughts and emotions, and the effectiveness of different types of therapy in easing symptoms. She has funded this work from many sources, including the NHS and medical charities such as the Wellcome Trust, and is a recent recipient of two research grants from the Meniere's Society—see our research projects page for further information. The first grant (which has been matched by 200% additional funding from the government) will examine handicap arising from Ménière's disease, and how the Ménière's Society can help to alleviate this.
The second grant will support a clinical trial of the usefulness of two self-help booklets she has developed to help people with Ménière's disease reduce their symptoms of dizziness.
Vertigo and Dizziness was published in 1994, as one of the texts in the Experience of Illness series, however, it is no longer in print. Professor Yardley and her publishers have kindly consented to make the book available on the Ménière's Society website. There are chapters which include detailed discussion of the psychological links between dizziness and anxiety, the nature and causes of vertigo, what kinds of perceptual and physical problems can occur due to brain or inner ear malfunctions, and the ramifications of having a largely 'invisible' and unpredictable illness. The book also explores the social effects of having an illness which is both debilitating and only partly understood.