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Concept: Malta


This study assessed changes in levels of ever use, perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes and sociodemographic correlates of use among European Union (EU) adults during 2012-2014, as well as determinants of current use in 2014.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland


Since 2010, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s (EMBL) Heidelberg laboratory and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have jointly run bioinformatics training courses developed specifically for secondary school science teachers within Europe and EMBL member states. These courses focus on introducing bioinformatics, databases, and data-intensive biology, allowing participants to explore resources and providing classroom-ready materials to support them in sharing this new knowledge with their students. In this article, we chart our progress made in creating and running three bioinformatics training courses, including how the course resources are received by participants and how these, and bioinformatics in general, are subsequently used in the classroom. We assess the strengths and challenges of our approach, and share what we have learned through our interactions with European science teachers.

Concepts: DNA, Bioinformatics, Molecular biology, Education, European Bioinformatics Institute, Malta, Italy, European Molecular Biology Laboratory


Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60-99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification), demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Europe, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Ocean, Special Member State territories and the European Union


This study assessed the prevalence and determinants of e-cigarette use among persons aged ≥15 years in 27 European Union (EU) member countries during 2012.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Malta, Germany, Estonia, Norway, Italy, European integration


BACKGROUND: In line with population ageing, the number of individuals with dementia is expected to increase. Nursing students are more likely to care for dementia patients during their clinical placements and once they qualify. Nevertheless, they may not be adequately prepared during their undergraduate programme. Furthermore, lack of support during their placements may negatively influence nursing students' attitudes. Measuring the level of knowledge and attitudes of nursing students could be an important step in providing evidence on the need of enhancing dementia care training in the nursing curriculum. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess knowledge and attitudes of nursing students in Malta towards dementia and identify factors related to these attributes. Moreover, the students were asked to rate their training and educational needs from a list of topics about this subject area. DESIGN: A questionnaire survey. SETTING: Department of Nursing within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Malta. PARTICIPANTS: 280 full-time diploma and degree nursing students who are currently in their first, second and third year of their undergraduate programme. METHOD: The data was collected using a questionnaire consisting of the Alzheimer’s disease Knowledge Scale and the Dementia Attitude Scale. A 3-point Likert scale was also used by students to rate their training and educational needs from a list of 20 topics related to dementia care. The data was analysed using quantitative methods. RESULTS: Maltese nursing students had an adequate knowledge and showed positive attitudes towards Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients. Age, academic year, training and previous care of dementia patients during their clinical placement were all found to be associated with increased knowledge and positive attitudes. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge and attitudes of nursing students in Malta towards persons with dementia could be improved by enhancing dementia care training and improving the clinical experience.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Scientific method, Psychometrics, Dementia, Malta, Quantitative marketing research, Likert scale, Caregiving and dementia


The European Union (EU) is a confederation of 27 member states, the institutions of which work according to negotiated decisions. The EU has implemented similar legislation and a common market, and has adopted the same currency in most of its member states. Although financing health systems is a responsibility of the national governments, the EU has enacted the Charter of Fundamental Rights to standardize public health policies. However, for historical reasons, health policy and health expenditure is not uniform across the 27 EU member states (EU-27).

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland, European Economic Area


Many EU nations experienced a significant housing crisis during the Great Recession of 2008-10. We evaluated the consequences of housing payment problems for people’s self-reported overall health.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Malta, Late-2000s recession, Economics terminology, Great Depression, Business cycle


Tobacco use is still highly prevalent in Europe, despite the tobacco control efforts made by the governments. The development of tobacco control policies varies substantially across countries. The Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) was introduced to quantify the implementation of tobacco control policies across European countries OBJECTIVE: To assess the midterm association of tobacco control policies on smoking prevalence and quit ratios among 27 European Union (EU) Member States (EU27).

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Europe, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland


To assess prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, reported changes in smoking status due to e-cigarette use and correlates of e-cigarette use in the European Union (EU) member states in 2014.

Concepts: European Union, Smoking, Cigarette, United Kingdom, Europe, Slovakia, Malta, Italy


The challenge of providing access to high-priced patented medicines is a global problem affecting all countries. A decade and a half ago the use of flexibilities contained in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, in particular compulsory licensing, was seen as a mechanism to respond to high-price medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. Today a number of upper-income European Union (EU) Member States are contemplating the use of compulsory licensing in their efforts to reduce expenditure on pharmaceutical products. EU regulation of clinical test data protection and the granting of market exclusivity interfere with the effective use of compulsory licensing by EU Member States and can even prevent access to off-patent medicines because they prohibit registration of generic equivalents. EU pharmaceutical legislation should be amended to allow waivers to data and market exclusivity in cases of public health need and when a compulsory or government use license has been issued. Such an amendment can be modelled after existing waivers in the EU Regulation on compulsory licensing of patents for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for export to countries with public health problems outside the EU. Allowing a public health/compulsory license exception to data and market exclusivity would bring greater coherence between EC regulation of medicinal products and national provisions on compulsory licensing and ensure that Member States can take measures to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland, World Trade Organization