Implementing a chronic disease strategy in two remote Indigenous Australian settings: A multi-method pilot evaluation


Peter d'Abbs, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland, 4870, Australia. Email:


Objective: To test an evaluation framework designed to evaluate implementation of the North Queensland Indigenous communities between August and December 2005.

Setting: Both communities are located in Cape York, North Queensland. Community A has an estimated population of around 600 people; Community B has an enumerated population of 750, although health centre records indicate a higher number.

Participants: Process evaluation involved health centre staff in both communities; clinical audits used random samples from the adult population (each sample n = 30); ethnographic fieldwork was conducted with resident population.

Main outcome measures: Health centre scores and qualitative findings using a System Assessment Tool; clinical audits – extent to which scheduled services recorded; selected primary health performance indicators; qualitative ethnographic findings.

Results: On almost all indicators, implementation of NQICDS had progressed further in Community A than in Community B; however, some common issues emerged, especially lack of linkages between health centres and other groups, and lack of support for client self-management.

Conclusions: The evaluation framework is an effective and acceptable framework for monitoring implementation of the NQICDS at the primary health centre level.