SOLVE-CHD Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation

Transforming post-hospital care for people with heart disease in Australia
Our team of researchers and clinicians unite with people with heart disease to integrate data, technology, partnership and capacity to improve after-hospital care and reduce burden of heart disease.

Heart disease causes nearly 20% of deaths around the world. Unfortunately, the ongoing care people receive after they leave hospital has not kept up with related medical advances. 

Our vision is to transform post-discharge secondary prevention and reduce the burden of heart disease by decreasing deaths, hospitalisations and costs via a program of work that integrates data, technology, partnerships and capacity building. 

SOLVE-CHD is a 5 year program of work that builds on previous and current efforts. In particular, the work of the Australian Cardiac Rehabilitation Measurement Taskforce where there has been national consensus and development of quality indicators for cardiac rehabilitation. SOLVE-CHD will see delivery of interlinked service reform and research across 4 key activities.

1. Transformative data & quality

Collection of real-time, consistent jurisdictional and national cardiac rehabilitation data with appropriate governance established. This will ultimately reduce inequity, improve patient outcomes and systems efficiency through performance metrics, benchmarking and  quality improvement. These data will be collected real-time and will be linked with electronic medical records

2. New research

Development and investigation of novel interventions that utilise technology within the context of personalised models of care, usefulness, patient reported outcomes and value for money. These should be personalised and tailored according to need, patient preference and level of risk (to ensure treatment optimisation) and could be delivered using digital health.  Examples include potential of virtual reality, peer support and telehealth approaches.

3. Capacity building

Identify and cultivate multidisciplinary research capacity, community engagement and future health services researcher leaders. Implement a program of project (small EMCR catalysts & pilot funds) and people support (PhD Scholarships & postdoctoral fellowships) as well as opportunities for travel and exchange between working environments (where possible). These funds will be provided to projects and people answering specific research questions relevant to SOLVE-CHD. Find out more about these projects and our team members via

4. National network

We have established a virtual SOLVE-CHD National network to support and unify researchers, clinicians, government, non-government and consumers. This will help facilitate sharing of solutions, building partnerships and provide a conduit for sharing resources. To date, we have over 140 members from more than 50 different institutions across Australia with diverse backgrounds. Join us now via SOLVE website and connect us via Twitter @solvechd! 


  • Prof. Julie Redfern, MRFF Guardian Angel: Implementation of a peer support program for people with heart disease $655K
  • Prof. Julie Redfern, NHMRC Level 2 Investigator Grant: Modernising cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention of heart disease $2.872M
  • Prof. Tom Briffa, Heart Foundation Strategic Grant: Secondary Prevention for all in need $1M
  • Prof. Adrienne O’Neil, NHMRC Emerging Leadership 2 Investigator Grant $1.567M 
  • Mr Dion Canderlaria, Paulette Isabel Jones Postgraduate Research Completion Scholarship $7,000

Recent Publications 

  • Candelaria, Dion et al Shorter Wait Times to Cardiac Rehabilitation Associated With Greater Exercise Capacity Improvements A MULTISITE STUDY, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: July 2021 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 - p 243-248 doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000548
  • Canderlaria, Dion et al Future-proofing your research career post-PhD: top tips for doctoral students European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, zvab115,
  • To develop comprehensive, continuous and national data, with the aim to implement an Australian-first nationwide, electronic data collection and reporting platform for cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs  
  • To support research that optimises access to and quality of secondary prevention
  • To identify and cultivate multidisciplinary research capacity, community engagement and future health services researcher leaders

Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

  • Prof Tom Briffa, University of Western Australia
  • Emeritus Prof. David Wood, National University of Ireland Galway
  • Prof. Elizabeth Geelhoed, University of Western Australia
  • Prof. Adrienne O’Neil, Deakin University
  • A/Prof. Carolyn Astley, Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association
  • Christine Conners, Top End Health Service
  • Rachelle Foreman, Brisbane North PHN
  • Prof. Peter Thompson, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research & University of Western Australia
  • Dr Robert Herkes, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
  • Steve Woodruffe, Southern Queenland Rural Health
  • Dr Emma Thomas, University of Queensland
  • Cate Ferry, Ex-clinical Manager at National Heart Foundation
  • Sarah Gauci, Deakin University
  • Dr Susie Cartledge, Monash University
  • Dr Christina Verdicchio, Macquarie Health
  • Robert Zecchin, Western Sydney Local Health District