STEPS Public Health Research



  This project is financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

 A National Workshop in Malta entitled 'Engaging Society in Public Health Research' was held on Friday 26th March, 2010, at the Victoria Hotel, Sliema and discussed various ways in which civil society could contribute further to public health research.

'Behaviour and Mental Health' was also discussed as a public health research topic currently relevant to Malta 

What is meant by ‘public health research'?

Public health research covers a range of disciplines (including epidemiology, sociology, systems science, statistics, informatics, economics, as well as medical sciences) that work on health concerns at the level of society and population, in contrast to sciences at individual clinical level (usually disease-based) or at cell and molecular level (usually laboratory-based). Three broad areas of public health practice are covered:

1. Health behaviours (smoking, alcohol, diet, exercise etc);
2. Health determinants (economic, social relationships, transport, cohesion etc);
3. Health services (organisation, acceptability, effectiveness, equity etc).

Workshops were held in 12 European new member states and had similar structures and themes, although, of course, modified according to local circumstances.


STEPS National Workshop Malta - 26 March 2010- The Victoria Hotel, Sliema


Chair:     Dr. Julian Mamo

08:30      Opening Speech: Purpose and Objectives of STEPS

                      ‘Engaging Civil Society in Public Health Research' -

                     Ms. Claudia Taylor East - Director SOS Malta

   08:40      Introduction from Malta Association of Public Health Medicine (MAPHM)

                      Dr. Charmaine Gauci - President

08:50     The national public health topic: ‘Behaviour and Mental Health'

                Dr. David Cassar - Head of Psychiatry Dept. University of Malta


09:30     Address

              Hon. Joseph Cassar - Minister for Health, the Elderly and Community Care

10:00      Description of existing public health research system

Dr. Neville Calleja - Director of Health Information & Research at the Ministry of Health, the Elderly and Community Care

10:45      COFFEE BREAK

11:00      The role of Civil Society in contributing to public health research

 Dr. Gabriel Gulis - Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark

11.45       European Dimensions

Ms. Joanna Pullicino / Ms. Anthea Fabri -National Contact Points, the Malta Council for Science and                             Technology (MCST)


13:30      Small group discussions

15:30      COFFEE BREAK

15:45      Plenary discussion

 The objectives of workshop

  • to provide discussion forum for various stakeholders (CSOs, Public health associations, researchers) to describe the existing system on research in public health on national level according proposed themes;
  • to make out suggestions on how to improve public health research, through actions by the Ministries of health and strengthening the engagement of different civil society organisations (CSOs) especially citizen health organisations.

The results of workshop

From each workshop suggestions will be worked out for the national assessment (report), which includes:

  • Description of the current system including European involvement
  • Suggestions for improvement the public health research system and engaging civil society organisations

In total 39 participants attended the Malta workshop, having expertise on public health, public health research, advocacy and engagement.