Developing a web-based tool to reduce emotional distress in people with MND

“This project addresses an area of research that has been under investigated in MND and has a great potential to change clinical outcomes and improve wellbeing.” – scientific peer reviewer.

Emotional distress is common in people with MND and their partners/carers, and it is linked to a poorer quality of life and a worse prognosis. Up to 44% of people affected by MND experience depressive disorders such as low mood, worry and despair, and up to 30% are affected by anxiety. Researchers and health professionals have urgently called for more research on psychological interventions to address these problems in MND.

This studentship, led by Prof Lucy Yardley at the University of Southampton, will investigate the use of a web-based interactive programme to reduce emotional distress in people with MND, as it has shown promise in other conditions. The student will assess current methods for distress management in MND and will interview people with MND to help design the intervention. They will then test out the intervention and improve it, using feedback. If successful, this new resource could be rolled out on a large scale at low cost through the MND Association or NHS, meaning that many people with MND and their families could receive timely, expert support, improving their emotional wellbeing.

This project will cost £79,612 over three years.

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