- Research and Projects
- Get Involved
Theme: CLAHRC - Person-Centred Care
Ménière’s disease is an idiopathic (i.e. the cause is unknown), long-term, progressive inner ear disorder, defined by episodes of vertigo, aural fullness (pressure in the ear), tinnitus, and hearing loss. It has a prevalence of approximately 0.2% in the United Kingdom (equating to around 120,000 people), and is most commonly diagnosed between 40-60 years of age. Ménière’s is experienced as a debilitating unpredictable disease, associated with high levels of psychosocial co-morbidity and reduced quality of life amongst diagnosed individuals (as reviewed by Kirby and Yardley, 2008).
This Ménière’s Society-funded project aimed to understand how Ménière’s disease impacts upon patient’s mental health and wellbeing, examining how people experience and adapt to Ménière’s within their everyday lives, and in the context of their whole lives. This aim was met through two complementary objectives:
A two-phase mixed methods approach has been used to examine these research questions, combining broad population-level insights with the first-hand everyday experiences of individual Ménière’s patients.
Research Questions 1-3 were addressed in Phase I (completed by Dr. Jess Tyrrell), in which epidemiological techniques were used to investigate the associations between Ménière’s disease and mental health and wellbeing in the UK Biobank
Research Questions 4-6 were addressed in Phase II (completed by Dr. Sarah Bell), in which a series of in-depth narrative interviews were conducted to gain rich insights into how and why such mental health outcomes may arise, and how diagnosed individuals seek to negotiate their everyday lives whilst managing the diverse, long-term and fluctuating symptoms of Ménière’s disease.
The project team published a Key Findings booklet in October 2015 for health professionals, patients and their family and friends.
The team have also developed a Ménière’s Monitor app. This is a free app for iPhone and Android users, which allows users to record and monitor the symptoms of their condition on a daily basis. You can find out more, and download the app from the Ménière’s Monitor website.
For more information on this project, please visit the project page on the Exeter university website.