The VA Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP), established in 2007, makes high-quality evidence synthesis available to clinicians, managers, and policymakers as they work to improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. ESP reports help:
ESP is helping VA fulfill its vision of functioning as a continuously "learning healthcare system" to improve Veteran health and healthcare. ESP achieves this by providing timely, targeted, thorough, unbiased, and innovative syntheses of the medical literature for the VHA to translate into evidence-based clinical practice and policy, and quality improvement and practice-based future research initiatives at the national level. The ESP offers a range of products from rapid review evidence briefs to full systematic reviews, tailored to the needs of decision-makers. In addition to being made available throughout VA and in the public domain, ESP reports are also published in top medical journals, so that clinicians worldwide may access them, and some evidence syntheses have informed the clinical guidelines of large professional organizations.
The program consists of four ESP Centers across the US, each with an active University affiliation, and a Coordinating Center, located in Portland, Oregon which oversees national program operations, program development and evaluation, and dissemination efforts. Center directors are recognized leaders in the field of systematic review methodology with close ties to the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers and are practicing clinicians in the VA. This unique expertise enables ESP to produce comprehensive reports that answer a wide range of research questions in a variety of clinical and health system settings with a special emphasis on the Veteran population and geared towards helping VA leadership with policy and clinical decision making.
Would an independent and rigorous review of the scientific literature help your office plan or implement a program, develop a guideline or directive, make a health policy decision, or inform future research needs? The Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) is soliciting nominations from VHA leadership for review topics for FY 2024. Nominations will be accepted electronically using the Topic Submission Form.
ESP reports are externally peer-reviewed by clinical and policy experts. If you're interested in serving as a peer reviewer for the program, please register here.
ESP has developed a catalog of COVID-19 evidence reviews conducted by evidence synthesis groups in the US and around the world to maximize the collective contributions to all those responding to the pandemic and avoid duplicating efforts. We aim for this to be a resource for both systematic reviewers and for those looking to inform practice or health systems policies.
This product was developed to help familiarize VHA clinicians with basic information about cannabis so that they might feel more comfortable engaging in discussions with their patients and answering questions.
In a new initiative, ESP has created a narrative companion to the report entitled "Deprescribing for Older Veterans" which reviews the scientific literature around the effectiveness and harms of deprescribing interventions for older adults.
The report itself is publicly available here.
9/14/2022 - Evidence Map - Acupuncture as Treatment for Adult Health Conditions: Update from 2013–2021
5/25/2022 - Implementation of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Chronic Pain and Chronic Mental Health Conditions
Special Medical Care Supplement Features VA/HSR&D Research on Evidence Synthesis in a Learning Healthcare System