PhD. in Health Psychology awarded by Kings College (University of London -2000). 

MSc. in Health Psychology (United Medical and Dental University Schools- London - 1994).

Graduation in Clinical Psychology – Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, 1983-1988.



Full professor of Clinical Health Psychology – since August 22

Associate professor of Clinical Health Psychology – Zayed University August 19 to July 22

Associate Professor at the Piaget Institute and Coordinator of the Master in Clinical Health Psychology of the Piaget Institute - ISEIT (Almada).

Invited Professor of the Master of Health Psychology at the University of Minho and at ISPA- Instituto Universitário, as well as at the University of Évora


Abu Dhabi - Khalifa City


+971 2 599 3134

Teaching Areas

Clinical Health Psychology
Research Methods
Health Promotion

Research and Professional Activities

Field of research - Social Sciences and Humanities with an emphasis on Clinical Health Psychology, namely, illness perceptions, adherence, beliefs about illness, treatment and behavior, chronic illness, and, more recently, health literacy.  She has collaborated with several higher education institutions and journals as a reviewer. She has been a full European Health Psychology Society member since 1994. Between 2001 and 2014, she coordinated three research projects funded by the FCT in cooperation with other entities. She has several publications in scientific journals and book chapters, participated in several national and international conferences, and received four research awards.


President of the Portuguese Association of Health and Behavioural Sciences, a full member of the Portuguese Society of Health Psychology, a full member of the European Health Psychology Society and of the College of Portuguese Psychologists – Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses (OPP) – Lisbon, Portugal


  • Figueiras, M.J., Neto, D.D. & Marôco, J. Understanding the relationship between illness perceptions of breast cancer and perceived risk in a sample of U.A.E. female university students: the role of comparative risk. BMC Women's Health 22, 193 (2022).

  • Figueiras, M.J. Neto, D.D. Marôco J.& Kern de Castro, E. (2022) Is my risk lower than yours? The role of compared risk, illness perceptions, and self-efficacy as determinants of perceived risk for COVID-19, Health,Risk & Society, 24:1-2, 54-66,

  • Figueiras MJ, Ghorayeb J, Coutinho MVC, Marôco J and Thomas J (2021) Levels of Trust in Information Sources as a Predictor of Protective Health Behaviors During COVID-19 Pandemic: A UAE Cross-Sectional Study. Front. Psychol. 12:633550.

  • Vieira, R. V. A., Sbicigo, J. B., Armiliato, M. J., Castro, E. K., & Figueiras, M. J. (2021).Psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire for Healthy Women. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), https://31,e3103.doi:

  • Neto, D. D., Rocha, I., Figueiras, M. J. & Silva, A. N. da (2020). Measuring mental health literacy : Adaptation and validation of the Portuguese version of the mental health literacy Scale (MHLS). European Journal of Mental Health, 16(1), 64-77

  • Thomas, J., Barbato, M., Verlinden, M., Gaspar, C., Moussa, M., Ghorayeb, J., Menon, A., Figueiras, M.J., Arora, T., & Bentall, R.P. (2020) Psychosocial Correlates of Depression and Anxiety in the United Arab Emirates During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Vol.11, pp 1248,

  • Dekker, J., Amitami, M., Berman, A.H. Brown, H., Cleal , B., Figueiras, M.J., Finney Rutten, L.J.,Fors, E.A., Griva, K., Gu, J., Keyworth, C., Kleinstäuber, M., Lahmann, C., (…) & Nater U.M Definition and Characteristics of Behavioral Medicine, and Main Tasks and Goals of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine—an International Delphi Study. Int.J. Behav. Med.(2020).