Project objectives

The Rheumatic Fever Strategy had several elements that included National Partnership Agreements with the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The specific objectives of the evaluation included:

  • How well individual states and territories established and maintained their dedicated statewide patient registers, and how well they facilitated and supported clinical practice including the recall of patients.
  • How well individual state and territory registries and control program activities improved the provision of clinical care, including the delivery and patient adherence to secondary prophylactic antibiotics.
  • How individual state and territories delivered education and training for providers, individuals, families and communities.
  • How individual states and territories support national monitoring through the reporting to the national coordination unit.

How well the National Coordination Unit interacted with individual state and territory ARF and RHD control programs.

Australian Department of Health

Our approach

We designed a mixed methods evaluation that included a literature review and document analysis, interviews with an extensive range of stakeholders and the analysis of program data from the four funded jurisdictions.

We interviewed 72 stakeholders from 35 different organisations which included non-government academic national coordination unit, acute rheumatic fever control program and registry staff in each state and territory, state and territory health department staff, clinicians, Aboriginal health workers, academics, expert advisors and non-government organisations.


In addition to highlighting key achievements of the Rheumatic Fever Strategy, which included improved monitoring and surveillance of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, the evaluation identified several challenges in relation to staff retention, education and training and data monitoring and reporting.

The findings and recommendations from the evaluation helped to inform the Department’s decision to continue funding and expand the Rheumatic Fever Strategy in the 2017–18 Budget.

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