Chronic Disease Prevention

Chronic disease – such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and respiratory diseases – are the leading cause of death in Australia.

Many of these deaths are avoidable, leading to the establishment of the Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate which works proactively to develop and promote state and national strategies to prevent chronic disease and injury.

Taking a population-wide perspective, we focus on encouraging healthy behaviours in people who are well in addition to those at risk of developing chronic disease or injury, as a consequence of risky lifestyle behaviours.

Health promotion places a particular focus on:

  • tobacco 
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • obesity
  • injury.

We work with partners in WA Health, across Government and in the not-for-profit sector, to encourage healthy behaviours in our communities in the areas of:

  • community development 
  • creating environments for living, working and relaxing which support healthy behaviours 
  • economic interventions 
  • legislation and regulation 
  • raising public awareness and engagement 
  • strategic coordination, building partnerships and capacity building
  • targeted interventions 
  • development of healthy policy at government and organisation level.

The Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate has developed a webpage with a range of practical ideas, guides, tools and resources for local governments of all sizes that would like to do more to promote healthy, injury-free lifestyles in their area.

For support and information about healthy lifestyles for you and your family, visit our consumer website (HealthyWA).

Our strategy

The WA Health Promotion Strategic Framework 2017–2021 (PDF 3.4MB) sets out our strategic direction and priorities for the prevention of chronic disease and injury over the next five years.

Using an integrated approach, the Framework explores the wider socioeconomic, cultural and environmental conditions which shape our behaviour.

Research and evaluation

Health promotion programs need to be robust, measurable and accountable.  Working together with the Child Health Promotion Research Centre at Edith Cowan University, we have developed a Research and Evaluation Framework and Implementation Guide, a handy tool designed to strengthen the process of research and evaluation of health promotion programs.

The Nutrition Monitoring Survey Series (NMSS) has been conducted by the WA Department of Health since 1995 and aims to investigate the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of WA adults relating to the Dietary Guidelines for Australians

The Priority-Driven Research Agenda for Obesity Prevention was a project led by the Department of Health Western Australia and Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) over 2013-14. The Agenda aims to enhance Australia's capacity to foster and undertake preventive health research.

Our policies

The Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate also provides stewardship of a range of WA Health policies, including:

Health Promotion Inventory

The WA Health Promotion Inventory is an interactive dashboard that displays information on health promotion programs across WA that aim to reduce the burden of chronic disease and injury in WA through:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Improving nutrition / healthy eating
  • Promoting a healthy weight / preventing obesity
  • Preventing injuries and creating safer communities
  • Reducing rates of tobacco smoking
  • Reducing alcohol-related harm

The dashboard operates as a searchable database, allowing users to search for programs by risk factor, target population and setting. The dashboard uses the latest spatial mapping technology to display programs across geographical areas (Health Region and Local Government Areas are available).

Information on programs is collected via selective survey that includes programs delivered or funded by the WA health system, other relevant state government agencies, and selected not-for-profit providers of health promotion services.

The Inventory assists with:

  • Mapping current programs against state and national priority areas for chronic disease and injury prevention
  • Providing stakeholders, including local governments, with information about programs that are active in their area
  • Identification of possible gaps in program delivery
  • Sharing of good practice
  • Setting of strategic directions and planning for future resource allocation

Chronic Disease Prevention collates and periodically updates the Inventory. Users are encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement via the feedback button in the report.

The Inventory also includes an option for users to submit health promotion programs for inclusion in the Inventory. Please read the instructions carefully prior to submitting to ensure that your program meets the criteria for inclusion.

Last reviewed: 01-08-2016
Produced by

Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate