Dr. Liliana Abreu

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Group on Development Policy of University of Konstanz, and I have a PhD in Public Health, from the Medical School of University of Porto, Portugal.

My research interests broadly focus on global health policies, development and social epidemiology, by looking at individual-level measures (e.g., poverty, literacy, education), along with contextual factors (e.g., violence, gender inequality, health systems and access to health care), and study the impact on health and mental health. I try to look at disease and health from a social science perspective aiming on the role of social factors as causes of excessive morbidity and mortality, with a special focus on middle and low income countries.

My focus is on the interplay between poverty, violence and disease, and the evaluation of the impact and sustainability of interventions (such as, narrative exposure therapy or specific health policies) to promote health, namely aspects of mental health, trauma and gender equality.

Since 2019, as a member of Professor Hoeffler’s research group, I have been involved in a wide range of interdisciplinary projects, such as a global survey to collect real-time data on the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and gender differences in mental health, involving economists, psychologists and political scientists; the study of sexual violence among adolescents in low income countries (Nigeria, Mocambique); the impact of road fatalities in life expectancy and experimental randomized control trials to study child maltreatment, patterns of violence as well as psychotherapeutic interventions.

Along with my research competencies, I have been teaching advanced seminars on Global Health Policies and Development at the University, as well join teaching seminar (Winter term 2021-22) about the Legacy of Violence in Pandemic Times: Global Health Challenges and Gender Dynamics (awarded with a grant from Zukunftskolleg). I am also supervising master and bachelor thesis from Political Sciences and Psychology.


Liliana Abreu, Júlio Borlido-Santos, Álvaro Mendes & Maria Rui Vilar-Correia (2020) Patients’ perceptions of family engagement in health information practices: influences on the self-management of asthma, Journal of Communication in Healthcare March 2020.
Doi: 10.1080/17538068.2020.1742490

Moura A, Silva S, Freitas C, Abreu L, Baía I & Samorinha C. (2019). Concerns with educating the public about donating and receiving gametes. The European Journal of Contraception & reproductive Health Care. September 2019. Doi:10.1080/13625187.2019.1662392.

Abreu L, Mendes A, Vilar-Correia MR and Borlido-Santos J. (2019) Family engagement in health information practices: influences in the management of asthma. Journal of Communication in Healthcare (accepted, in press)

Paiva* D, Abreu* L, Azevedo A, Silva S. (2019). Patient-centered communication in type 2 diabetes: facilitating and constraining factors in clinical encounters. Health Services Research Jun;54(3):623-635. (* Paiva D. and Abreu L are equal first authors)

Abreu L. (2018). Distributed Health Literacy of People Living with Chronic Conditions. University of Porto (PhD Thesis)

Abreu L, Nunes JA, Taylor P, Silva S. (2018). The role of distributed health literacy in asthma integrated care: a public medical context from Portugal. International Journal of Integrated Care 18(2),18 http://doi.org./10.5334/ijic.3301

Abreu L, Nunes JA, Taylor P, Silva S. (2018). Distributed health literacy among people living with type 2 diabetes in Portugal: defining levels of awareness and support. Health and Social Care in the Community. 26(1):90-101. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12465

Mendes* A, Abreu* L, Vilar-Correia MR and Borlido-Santos J. (2016). “That Should Be Left to Doctors, That’s Why They are There For!” – Exploring the Reflexivity and Trust of Young Adults When Seeking Health Information. Health Communication, Aug 2:1-6 DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1199081

Mota, G. & Abreu, L. (2014). Thirty years of music and drama education in Madeira Island: Facing future

challenges. International Journal of Music Education. DOI: 10. 1177/025576141351803