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Living Well

Our work addresses complex challenges from preventing and curing physical diseases such as prostate cancer and diabetes to empowering people to live well into later life, supporting emotional and mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. Through our research, we help people cope with grief, improve their relationships and health at work, embrace spirituality for healing and support the people facing the most significant adversity across the globe.

Why language matters in diabetes care

Professor Cathy Lloyd’s research supports healthcare professionals worldwide to help people live better with diabetes, ensuring they feel heard, not judged.

Why we need to pay attention to our financial attitudes and emotions

Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy wants to help people manage their money better. During the past 25 years, his research has given us a new understanding of how attitudes and emotions influence our financial decisions.

Hearing Handel's music as he intended

Extensive research by OU Music academics into George Frideric Handel's life, career and music is helping musicians perform and record the celebrated Baroque composer's works with a greater understanding of his intentions, giving modern global audiences a window into the past.

Writing the history of brass instruments

Professor Trevor Herbert's research has enhanced how brass performers play and teach, inspired the next generation of young musicians, and introduced modern audiences to the sounds of historical brass instruments.

Revealing the dangers of hands-free phone use

Our research is informing policy on the need to reconsider current mobile phone legislation.

Why reducing youth violence is a question of public health, not law and order

Our research is pioneering a new public health approach to holistically address youth violence, its deep-rooted causes and its economic and social impact to safeguard children across England and Wales.

Why we need to talk about abortion

Professor Lesley Hoggart discusses her work to lift the veil of silence around abortion in the UK and challenge the stigma that people it affects can feel.

Tackling political exclusion through art

For many of us in the UK, politics is a spectator sport, a source of fascination and a cause of endless debate with family and friends. For others, it’s the reason to switch off the TV. But, whatever your political persuasion, Dr Agnes Czajka argues that day-to-day political posturing, scandal and sensationalism aside, understanding the fundamentals of how we organise and govern our society is crucial for everyone.

Protecting cultural heritage during war times

Professor Derek Matravers’ research has helped the international heritage professionals, policymakers, military leaders and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) understand the ethics of protecting cultural heritage in warzones.

Technology for dogs with important jobs

Our research has developed canine-centred controls which have improved how dogs support people with disabilities.

What's wrong with weddings

Nothing at all, if the weddings are the ceremonies that couples want, conducted when they want, where they want, and by whom they want. But, according to Dr Stephanie Pywell, there is quite a lot wrong with the law that governs weddings, some of which existed before Queen Victoria ascended the throne.

The thrill of seeing science in action

“When I began my career, the role of an academic was still very focused on applying for grants and publishing papers. Indeed, that’s what I focused on for a long time. But there came the point where I started thinking about how else I could have an impact with my work”, recalls Peter Taylor, a now Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry who joined the OU in 1978.

Improving treatment for prostate cancer

Our research has provided guidelines which have improved the quality of life for those affected by prostate cancer.

The OU researcher revolutionising relationships with tech

Despite the controversy surrounding relationship and sex education for UK children, the subject is fast becoming a mandatory component of primary and secondary school curriculums throughout the four nations. Nevertheless, Professor Jacqui Gabb says many adults are still left asking questions.

The healing power of storytelling

Dr Siobhan Campbell’s Expressive Writing and Telling group storytelling method supports trauma survivors to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences and heal through creative writing.

Effect of COVID on OU students

The project led by Dr Maria Aristeidou, Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning at the OU, and Dr Nashwa Ismail, Research Associate at the OU, has been funded to investigate various factors related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students at the OU.

Overcoming adversity through hope: the potential of picture fiction

The project, led by Prof Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education (Literacy) in the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies and Dr Sarah Mukherjee, Research Associate at the OU, has been funded to develop resources for teachers, practitioners and parents to help them support children’s wellbeing.

First findings about how children are impacted by COVID-19

Research funded by the OU's Rapid Response scheme has looked at the impact of COVID-19 on children

Call for early mental health support for children during COVID-19

A team of OU researchers which studied children's experience of death anxiety during COVID-19 has called for early mental health support to address the effects on children.

How gratitude can help improve mental health after the COVID-19 pandemic

Clapping for the NHS revealed the desire to express gratitude during the pandemic, and now researchers have created a tool to enable people to say thank you more easily.

OU funds first psychological resources for organisations hub

A hub that will offer psychological resources to organisations and employees to help them to manage the effects of COVID-19 has been launched.

Launch of Creative Writing Handbook for Health Care Workers

The Creative Writing Handbook for Health Care Workers is the result of The Open University and North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust joining forces on a pilot to establish whether creative writing practice could reduce stress with Health Care Workers. This work was funded by The Open University’s rapid response COVID-19 research funding scheme.

Detecting Sars-Cov2 in sewerage systems

A research project which will develop a system to detect coronavirus in sewerage systems has received funding from the OU's Rapid Response to Coronavirus scheme

New study to enhance the impact of technologies for hospice residents

The OU Rapid Response to COVID-19 funding scheme has made it possible to enhance the use of technologies in a hospice during the pandemic

Reseach to asses the impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Responders

A project which is assessing the impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Responders has been funded by the OU Rapid Response to COVID-19 scheme