Dr Marco Bardus

Profile picture of Dr Marco Bardus

Institute of Applied Health Research
Assistant Professor in Public Health

Contact details

Institute of Applied Health Research
Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Marco Bardus' research in health communication aims to understand how to effectively influence behaviours to prevent public health and environmental health issues.

His research focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating public health interventions using a strategic social marketing framework. His research is placed at the intersection between social and behaviour change communication, risk communication, and behavioural science.

Dr Bardus designed interventions addressing physical activity, weight control, cancer screening, smoking cessation, family planning, COVID-19 prevention, as well as reducing, reusing, or recycling solid waste, in various countries with low resource settings.

He is particularly interested in leveraging the persuasive nature of digital technologies such as mobile apps, social media, and wearables to support health promotion and behaviour change, while considering the role of eHealth literacy as a social determinant of health.


  • PhD in Communication Sciences, focus on Health Communication, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland, 2012
  • MA in Corporate Public Relations, University of Udine in Gorizia, Italy, 2007
  • BA in Public Relations, University of Udine in Gorizia, Italy, 2004


Marco is an Assistant Professor in Public Health at the Institute of Applied Health Research (as of June 2022). Before joining Birmingham, he worked as a Lecturer in Health, at Leeds Trinity University (November 2021-May 2022) and as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut (January 2016-2022).

While in Beirut, he expanded his research and teaching experience in social marketing and health communication addressing relevant public health and environmental health issues, working with governmental and non-governmental organisations at the national level.

Before moving to Lebanon, he was a research fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, supported by an Early Postdoc mobility grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. In Exeter he developed systematic reviews of the literature and of mobile apps for weight management.

Between 2008 and 2012, Marco gained significant experience as a researcher in Health communication and as a teaching assistant in Social Marketing, working towards his Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Prof. L. Suzanne Suggs. His dissertation investigated the use of emails and SMS to promote physical activity in UK workplaces. As part of his thesis’ fieldwork, in 2011, he spent a semester at the University of Nottingham, supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.


Topical areas: behaviour change to prevent chronic conditions, pro-environmental behaviours to improve planetary health.

Populations: children, young people, and families; working-age adults; older adults.

Settings: workplaces, community-based organisations, clinics, or homes, including informal tented settlements, refugee camps.

Cross-cutting themes: digital health promotion, eHealth literacy, health inequalities, social marketing strategic planning, implementation research.

Other activities

  • Member of the European Social Marketing Association (ESMA) and International Social Marketing Association (iSMA)– Since 2012; ESMA representative in Lebanon (2018-2021); iSMA representative in the Global Alliance for Social and Behaviour Change (since June 2022).
  • Editor of the section “Planning and evaluation tools and approaches” of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing, Springer Nature (since January 2020).


Highlight publications

Bardus, M, van Beurden, SB, Smith, JR & Abraham, C 2016, 'A review and content analysis of engagement, functionality, aesthetics, information quality, and change techniques in the most popular commercial apps for weight management', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 13, no. 1, 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-016-0359-9

Bardus, M, Daccache, M, Maalouf, N, Al Sarih, R & Elhajj, I 2022, 'Data management and privacy policy of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps: systematic review and content analysis', JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 10, no. 7, e35195. https://doi.org/10.2196/35195

Bardus, M, El Rassi, R, Chahrour, M, Akl, EW, Raslan, AS, Meho, LI & Akl, EA 2020, 'The use of social media to increase the impact of health research: Systematic review', Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 22, no. 7, e15607. https://doi.org/10.2196/15607

Benny, ME, Kabakian-Khasholian, T, El-Jardali, F & Bardus, M 2021, 'Application of the ehealth literacy model in digital health interventions: scoping review', Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 23, no. 6, e23473. https://doi.org/10.2196/23473

Terhorst, Y, Philippi, P, Sander, LB, Schultchen, D, Paganini, S, Bardus, M, Santo, K, Knitza, J, Machado, GC, Schoeppe, S, Bauereiß, N, Portenhauser, A, Domhardt, M, Walter, B, Krusche, M, Baumeister, H & Messner, EM 2020, 'Validation of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS)', PLoS ONE, vol. 15, no. 11 November, e0241480. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0241480

Recent publications


Al Tawil, L, Massoud, MA, Bardus, M & Alameddine, I 2023, 'Disaster waste management challenges and enabling factors for strategic planning: the case of the Beirut Port explosion', Waste Management and Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734242X231151602

Kakati, R, Nakad Borrego, S, Zareef, R, Atallah, J, Farhat, S, Daye, N, Sadek, S & Bardus, M 2023, 'Dispensing and Purchasing Antibiotics without Prescription: A Cross-sectional Study Among Pharmacists and Patients in Beirut, Lebanon', Inquiry : a journal of medical care organization, provision and financing, vol. 60. https://doi.org/10.1177/00469580231167712

Semaan, J, Farah, C, Harb, RA, Bardus, M, Germani, A & Elhajj, I 2023, 'Tackling the COVID-19 infodemic among Syrian refugees in Lebanon: Development and evaluation of the "Wikaytek" tool', Digital Health , vol. 9, pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076231205280

Bardus, M, Assaf, SA & Sakr, CJ 2023, 'Using Social Marketing to Promote COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake: A Case Study from the “AUBe Vaccinated” Campaign', Vaccines, vol. 11, no. 2, 459. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11020459

El Yaman, N, Zeitoun, J, Diab, R, Mdaihly, M, Diab, R, Kobeissi, L, Aboul Joud, S, Antoun, J & Bardus, M 2023, 'Utilization of patient portals: A cross-sectional study investigating associations with mobile app quality', BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, vol. 23, no. 1, 177. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-023-02252-x

Chaiban, L, Benyaich, A, Yaacoub, S, Rawi, H, Truppa, C & Bardus, M 2022, 'Access to primary and secondary health care services for people living with diabetes and lower-limb amputation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon: a qualitative study', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 22, no. 1, 593. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-07921-7

Bardus, M, Keriabian, A, El-Bejjani, M & Hajj, S 2022, 'Assessing ehealth literacy among internet users in Lebanon: a cross-sectional study', Digital Health , vol. 8, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076221119336

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Bardus, M & Al Daccache, M 2022, Aims, Goals, and Objectives in Social Marketing. in C Fourali & J French (eds), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing., Chapter 137-1, Springer, pp. 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_137-1

Bardus, M 2022, Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI). in C Fourali & J French (eds), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_140-1

Bardus, M & Holden, P 2022, Educational Standards in Social Marketing. in C Fourali & J French (eds), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_135-1

Bardus, M & Holden, P 2022, Fundamental Competencies in Social Marketing. in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_132-1

Al Daccache, M & Bardus, M 2022, Intervention Mapping. in C Fourali & J French (eds), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing. Springer, pp. 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_144-1


Ghernati, L, Matbouli, D, El Helou, R, Bardus, M & Massoud, M 2022, 'Developing a pilot community-based social marketing intervention promoting sorting waste at home for the RESQ Project: “Don’t waste your waste”', Paper presented at 7th World Social Marketing Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 5/09/22 - 8/09/22.

Kabakian-Khasholian, T, Makhoul, J, Al-Majthoub, L, Abou Khouzam, M & Bardus, M 2022, 'Developing a social media intervention to counter COVID-19 misinformation in Lebanon', Paper presented at 7th World Social Marketing Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 5/09/22 - 8/09/22.


Kakati, R, Nakad, S, Zareef, R, Atallah, J, Farhat, S, Daye, N, Sadek, S & Bardus, M 2022 'Dispensing and purchasing antibiotics without prescription: a cross-sectional study among pharmacists and clients' Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1469222/v1

View all publications in research portal