Health Services Research & Development

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Evidence-based Synthesis Program

About the ESP Program

ESP logo The VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) was established to provide timely and accurate syntheses of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to clinicians, managers and policymakers, as they work to improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. HSR&D provides funding for four ESP Centers and each Center has an active University affiliation. The Centers include: Durham, Minneapolis, Portland, and West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. The Center directors are national and international leaders in the field of evidence synthesis with close links to the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers.

The ESP Centers generate evidence syntheses on important clinical practice topics, and these reports help:

  • Develop clinical policies informed by evidence,
  • The implementation of effective services to improve patient outcomes and to support VA clinical practice guidelines and performance measures, and
  • Set the direction for future research to address gaps in clinical knowledge.

The ESP disseminates these reports throughout VA and some evidence syntheses have informed the clinical guidelines of large professional organizations.

Nominate a Topic for Research in the Program

Nominations will be accepted electronically using the online Topic Submission Form. Review topics selected by the Steering Committee will be assigned to an ESP Center to work with the nominator to refine the key questions and determine the scope and timeline of the desired product.

Peer Review

ESP reports are peer-reviewed by clinical and policy experts. If you're interested in serving as a peer reviewer for the program, please register here.

ESP in the News

Click for list of published reports Click for topic nomination form Click for list of reports in progress

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Topic Nomination

Nominations are currently being accepted.
To nominate a topic, download and complete the Topic Nomination Form, then email the form to

Recent Reports

  • An Evidence Map of the Women Veterans' Health Research Literature (2008 - 2015) (intranet only)
  • Access Management Improvement (intranet only)