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Fabio Porru

Fabio Porru

Research group

Social Epidemiology
Fabio Porru

Most of my research was focused on public mental health. In the coming year I will defend my Ph.D. thesis entitled “Causes and consequences of mental health problems in the population”. With my doctorate I have adopted an occupational perspective to investigate the relation between study/work and health, especially in the young population and among university students.

I aim to have a societal impact, and I try to achieve this at multiple levels. I aspire to have a high impact on academia through excellent and innovative research. In addition, I want to be the type of scientist who takes time to explain to people and society the meaning and the importance of science. I am working on many online projects to raise awareness on mental health and fight the stigma for mental disorders, and to promote scientific research.

I believe education is the base of our society in terms of health, social equality, and having a fulfilling life. Consequently, education is also the strongest weapon to improve society and people’s life. This is why I am actively trying to get into teaching. This is why changes in the education system are among the goals of the research project on students’ health I developed and that, and I want my research to serve as the basis for an evidence-based innovation.

I am very interested in social problems, such as social inequalities, refugee crisis, climate change, and gender inequalities, and l am always ready to play my part to improve myself, my environment, and society.

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC
Doctor Molewaterplein 40,
3015 GD, Rotterdam
the Netherlands

I am involved in the supervision of Master students and research interns – including exchange students within the frame of the Erasmus+ project -, and in the medical curriculum as supervisor of community projects for medical students.

Publications list

Most relevant publications

Impact of mental disorders during education on work participation: a register-based longitudinal study on young adults with 10 years follow-up

Fabio Porru, Merel Schuring, Witte JG Hoogendijk, Alex Burdorf, Suzan JW Robroek

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Associations of university student life challenges with mental health and self-rated health: A longitudinal study with 6 months follow-up

Porru F., Schuring M., Bültmann U., Portoghese I., Burdorf A., Robroek SJW

Journal of Affective Disorders

Mental health among university students: the associations of effort-reward imbalance and overcommitment with psychological distress

Porru F., Robroek S., Bültmann U., Portoghese I., Campagna M., Burdorf A.

Journal of Affective Disorders

The covid-19 pandemic: One year later – an occupational perspective

Burdorf A., Porru F., Rugulies R.

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic: consequences for occupational health

Burdorf A., Porru F., Rugulies R.

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health

The impact of depressive symptoms on exit from paid employment in Europe: a longitudinal study with 4 years follow-up

Porru F., Burdorf A., Robroek SJW

European Jorunal of Public Health

Stress among university students: factorial structure and measurement invariance of the Italian version of the Effort-Reward Imbalance student questionnaire

Portoghese I., Galletta M., Porru F., Burdorf A., Sardo S., D'Aloja E., Finco G., Campagna M.

BMC Psychology

Stress among medical students: factor structure of the University Stress Scale among Italian students

Portoghese I., Porru F., Galletta M., Campagna M., Burdorf A.

BMJ Open

Measuring Burnout Among University Students: Factorial Validity, Invariance, and Latent Profiles of the Italian Version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory Student Survey (MBI-SS)

Portoghese I., Leiter M., Maslach C., Galletta M., Porru F., D'Aloja E., Finco G., Campagna M

Frontiers in Psychology

Awareness and preparedness of healthcare workers against the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey across 57 countries

TMGH-Global COVID-19 Collaborative

PloS one

Within the University Cares (UniCares) project, my team has validated multiple tools in order to investigate mental health among Italian university students.

  • Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Setting (MBI-SS)
  • Effort-Reward Imbalance – Student Questionnaire (ERI-SQ) – Available here
  • Higher Education Stress Inventory – Italian (HESI- ITA) . Available here
  • University Stress Scale – Short (USS-S) – Available here

I gave two lectures for the Honor Classes of the Erasmus University and for the Erasmus MC about mental health among university students.

I was invited as keynote speaker for the webinar “Mental health at university: a public health perspective” organised by SISM Bari and SISM Monza, and as a speaker for “The working dead: conoscere e affrontare il burnout nelle professioni sanitarie” (2019) and “Salute mentale: un sistema ingombrante” (2023) organised by Gruppo Prometeo.

Given the number of students and young doctors who contacted me on social media to help them to set up their own research project, I organised an online introductory course of three seminar to public health research (July 2023). The seminars were attended on average by 45 people.

I have worked as a teaching assistant for five courses organized by the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES):

  • Public Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, by Prof. Alex Burdorf (2020)
  • Methods in public health research, by Prof. Alex Burdorf (2020, 2021)
  • Social epidemiology, by Prof. Frank van Lenthe (2020, 2021)

for these courses, my tasks included the development of the course in order to increase students’ engagement by increasing interaction, providing feedback to students, technical support, and moderation of the discussion.

I have supervised multiple students on their master thesis project and many others in their first research experience.

Since years I have been using social media (Facebook, Instagram) to raise awareness on mental health and to disseminate scientific knowledge in the general population and among students.

La strage dei medici spiegata con i numeri e con soluzioni per il dopo [in Italian]

Article for the newspaper Il Foglio about the excess of mortality among Italian physicians during the first wave of the pandemic.

'A Bari, un terzo degli universitari si sente maltrattato', un ricercatore svela il disagio degli studenti: "Eccessivo carico di studi e tensioni" [in Italian]

Interview for Repubblica about my studies on mental health among university students at the University of Bari.

“Tanta sofferenza nelle università italiane”, il ricercatore cagliaritano Fabio Porru indaga la salute mentale tra studenti e studentesse [in Italian]

Interview for the online magazine Nemesis about mental health among university students.