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Research Faculty

Agnes Yuen Kwan LAI

Dr Agnes Lai is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Dr Lai is a registered nurse in HK and USA, a registered polysomnographic technologist, a cancer exercise specialist, and a certified zentangle trainer. Her research focuses on clinical and preventive medicine. She has broad experience in conducting trials on various chronic diseases (sleep apnea, lung cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and insomnia), self-management education programs, mental health and quality of life.

Dr Lai also conducted various capacity-building train-the-trainer workshops for teachers, social workers, and lay health promoters, empowering them to implement a series of large-scale community-based projects to integrate physical activity and healthy eating habits into daily life. Dr. Lai has conducted various epidemiology studies to update the lung function and grip strength reference values for adults, as well as large-scale health promotion activities in Hong Kong. Her research contributions have been recognized through both local and international awards and scholarships.

  • Sleep
  • Physical activity 
  • E-health intervention
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Preventive medicine 
Funding Scheme Project Title Approved Amount (HK$)
Health and Medical Research Fund A smart sleep apnea self-management support programme (4S) to improve apnea severity and cardiovascular health – a pragmatic randomized controlled trial with mixed-method evaluation 1,481,764
RGC General Research Fund A brief mobile SMART Exercise Support Program to improve fatigue in patients with advanced lung cancer - A pragmatic randomized controlled trial with outcome and process evaluation 1,056,910
Seed Fund for Basic Research for GRF resubmission, HKU A pilot study of SMART Exercise intervention to reduce fatigue in patients with lung cancer 49,500
Start-up Fund, HKU The health outcomes, psychosocial profile and lifestyle of subjects with sleep-related problems 1,000,000
Seed Fund for Basic Research, HKU A brief messaging lifestyle modification programme for patients with non-small cell lung cancer: A pilot trial 150,000
Health and Health Services Research Fund Long-term efficacy of extended education programme on improving treatment adherence to continuous positive airway pressure in obstructive sleep apnea 75,971
  • 2017
Excellent Research Award, awarded by Research Bureau, Department of Food and Health in Hong Kong
  • 2017
First Place, Best Poster Award, awarded by International Symposium Physical Activity of the Young Generation in Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong
  • 2016
2nd Prize, Poster Presentation, awarded by Faculty of Public Health, Annual Conference & Exhibition in Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2013
Pi Iota Chapter Scholarship, awarded by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in Hong Kong
  • 2013
Achieving MDGs for Global Health Scholarship, awarded by Fudan University in China
  • 2013
Hong Kong Thoracic Society Fellowship, awarded by Hong Kong Thoracic Society in Hong Kong
  • 2012
ATS Travel Scholarship Awards, awarded by American Thoracic Society  in the United States
  • 2012
Doctor Serena Yang Scholarship, awarded by School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong
  1. Lai AY, Stewart SM, Wan A, Thomas C, Tse JS, Ho DS, Chan SS, Lam TH. Development and feasibility of a brief Zero‚Äźtime exercise intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and enhance physical activity: a pilot trial. Health & Social Care in the Community. 2019 Mar 1;27(4):e233-45. Available from: doi:10.1111/hsc.12728
  2. Yeung WF, Lai AY, Ho FY, Suen LK, Chung KF, Ho JY, Ho LM, Yu BY, Chan LY, Lam TH. Effects of Zero-time Exercise on inactive adults with insomnia disorder: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Sleep Medicine. 2018 Dec;52:118-27. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.07.025
  3. Lai AY, Stewart SM, Wan A, Fok H, Lai HY, Lam TH, Chan SS. Development and evaluation of a training workshop for lay health promoters to implement a community-based intervention program in a public low rent housing estate: The Learning Families Project in Hong Kong. PloS One. 2017 Aug 25;12(8):e0183636. Available from: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0183636
  4. Lai AY, Stewart SM, Mui MW, Wan A, Yew C, Lam TH, Chan SS. An evaluation of a train-the-trainer workshop for social service workers to develop community-based family interventions. Frontiers in Public Health. 2017 Jun 30;5:141. Available from: doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00141
  5. Lai AY, Fong DY, Lam JC, Ip MS. Long-term efficacy of an education programme in improving adherence with continuous positive airway pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. Hong Kong Medical Journal. 2017;23(Suppl 2):S24-7
  6. Lai AY, Mui MW, Wan A, Stewart SM, Yew C, Lam TH, Chan SS. Development and two-year follow-up evaluation of a training workshop for the large preventive positive psychology Happy Family Kitchen Project in Hong Kong. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 25;11(1):e0147712. Available from: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147712
  7. Lai AY*, Ip MS, Lam JC, Weaver TE, Fong DY. A pathway underlying the impact of CPAP adherence on intimate relationship with bed partner in men with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep and Breathing. 2015 Aug 12;20(2):543-51. Available from: doi:10.1007/s11325-015-1235-6
  8. Lai AY, Fong DY, Lam JC, Weaver TE, Ip MS. The efficacy of a brief motivational enhancement education program on CPAP adherence in OSA: a randomized controlled trial. Chest. 2014 Sep;146(3):600-10. Available from: doi:10.1378/chest.13-2228
  9. Lai AY, Fong DY, Lam JC, Weaver TE, Ip MS. Linguistic and psychometric validation of the Chinese version of the self-efficacy measures for sleep apnea questionnaire. Sleep Medicine. 2013 Nov;14(11):1192-8. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2013.04.023
  10. Lam JC, Lam B, Yao TJ, Lai AY, Ooi CG, Tam S, Lam KS, Ip MS. A randomized controlled trial of nCPAP on insulin sensitivity in obstructive sleep apnoea. European Respiratory Journal. 2009 Jul 16. Available from: doi:10.1183/09031936.00047709