Irene Massaiu

Job Title and Responsibilities

PhD Student

About Me

I graduated from L.U.M.S.A. University with a BSc. Psychology and then completed a MSc. Clinical Psychology at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, focusing on Quality of Life (QOL) and spirituality in cancer patients. I recently completed a MSc. War and Psychiatry at King’s College London where I focused on Posttraumatic growth and well-being in aid workers.

I am now at Staffordshire University to complete my PhD project “Portraits of Pain: The use of pain drawings to meaningfully communicate pain experiences”. Together with my supervisors Professor Karen Rodham, Dr. Amy Burton and Professor Tony Stewart the hope is to show how portraits of pain can help patients to explain, as well as medical personnel to understand, the impact of living with chronic pain.


BSc. Psychology, L.U.M.S.A., Rome, 108/110
MSc. Clinical Psychology, Universita’Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, 110/110 cum Laude
MSc. War and Psychiatry, King’s College London, Distinction

Professional Memberships and Activities

Graduate member (MBPsS) of the British Psychological Society

Research Interests

My interest is in coping mechanisms and well-being in both patients and medical personnel. Specifically I am interested in cross-cultural differences in the reaction to health-related issues and positive outcomes in adverse situations.

Selected Publications

Guido Veronese, Alessandro Pepe, Irene Massaiu, Ann-Sophie de Mol, Ian Robbins. Posttraumatic growth controls subjective well-being of aid workers exposed to cumulative trauma in Palestine, Transcultural Psychiatry. Accepted

Current Teaching

Foundations of Psychology module
Perspectives of Psychology module


Irene Massaiu
Staffordshire University
Faculty of Health Sciences
Science Centre
t: 01782 294034