Evaluation framework for community rehabilitation services in remote Northern Australia

Measuring what matters for people with rehabilitation needs in remote Northern Australia.

This project will aim to develop a standardised evaluation framework for community rehabilitation services in Northern Australia. This will enable evidence-informed investment in community rehabilitation. The framework will be developed with guidance from an expert reference group, made up of relevant researchers, clinicians and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
The project will involve:

  • Systematic literature review identifying rehabilitation evaluation processes and outcome measures.
  • Data scoping to identify routinely collected health data that match emerging framework.
  • Refinement of evaluation framework with input from an expert reference group.

Healthy aging supports older people to participate in society and enjoy an independent and high quality of life. Disease, injury and general age related decline can all impact this. The disabling consequences of this can place an enormous, and ever-increasing burden of care on families, communities and services in northern Australia. The burden is particularly high in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities due to higher rates of chronic disease and injury compared to the non-Indigenous population.

Community rehabilitation and lifestyle services, that aim to prevent and remediate the disabling consequences of chronic disease are particularly scarce in Northern Australia compared to need, and national standards. Although the disparity between metropolitan and rural/remote service access is well recognised, there is currently a lack of reliable evidence to demonstrate the high level of need, paucity of services relative to need and the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of existing models of service delivery.

Processes and outcomes responsive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will be prioritised.

  • Dr Alice Cairns

  • Professor Robyn McDermott

  • James Cook University

  • 2020

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