Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Liuyu Wei

Project: The role of illness perception and dyadic coping in couples’ asthma adjustment

PhD overview

PhD Title: The role of illness perception and dyadic coping in couples’ asthma adjustment

Funded by: China Scholarship Council ​​​​​​

Supervisors: Dr Ben Ainsworth, Dr Becky Band and Dr Judit Varkonyi-Sepp

Based at: University of Southampton


Liuyu Wei
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research PhD student, Liuyu Wei

Understanding psychosocial mechanisms that underly poor asthma control and quality of life has been highlighted as a key unmet need by international asthma stakeholder groups. For couples facing asthma, both members are influenced by the illness because of their interdependence. However, little research attention has been paid to couples’ asthma adjustment from a dyadic perspective.

This PhD research project with a mixed-method study design aims to explore the role of illness perception and dyadic coping in patients’ asthma quality of life and couples’ psychological well-being. We will conduct four studies to achieve our research goals. Study 1 will be a systematic review study to summarise the research on the associations of interpersonal factors (i.e., partners’ responses to asthma and dyadic factors) with asthma outcomes. Study 2 will be a cross-sectional questionnaire study on UK asthma patients and their partners from primary and secondary care to establish a theoretical model between illness perception, dyadic coping, asthma quality of life, and psychological well-being. Study 3 will be a qualitative interview conducted with couples facing asthma to explore their perception of asthma and how they perceive the support from their partner. Study 4 will conduct a 14-day ecological momentary assessment study to examine the temporal sequence of illness, coping and quality of life.

Supported by links with the NIHR ARC and BRC, this project will directly inform intervention development, evaluation and implementation for a couple-based intervention to teach them how to work as a unit and support the other one when facing asthma to help them cope with asthma more efficiently.

About me

I have completed an MSc in Applied Psychology from the Shaanxi Normal University, China. Currently, I am a PhD student at the University of Southampton, School of Psychology (September 2023 to September 2027).



This PhD project is funded by the China Scholarship Council.