The following reports are under development at one of the four ESP sites. If you would like to provide comments about the topic under development, serve as a peer reviewer for the draft report, or know the timeline for completion, please contact the ESP Coordinating Center.
To review the most up-to-date protocols, please visit the PROSPERO website. Protocol registration numbers for an individual project can be found along with the brief abstract for the project, below.
This report will be used by the Veterans Health Administration national program offices for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services (PM&RS), Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Services (PSAS), Recreation Therapy, and National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (NVPS&SE), as well as the offices under Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services to determine the benefits and harms associated with participation in adaptive sports for Veterans with a disability and identify barriers to and facilitators of participation. This review will inform implementation efforts and enhance efforts to integrate all of the VHA’s national programs for rehabilitation and the Disabled Veterans Adaptive Sports Programs with the goal of advancing Veteran’s access to and the utilization of adaptive sports as part of their ongoing rehabilitation.
KQ 1: What is the effectiveness of participation in adaptive sports programs among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), limb amputation, hearing loss or deafness, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord disorder, spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke/cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or visual impairment or blindness?
KQ 1a: Does the effectiveness vary by frequency/duration of adaptive sport program participation?
KQ 1b: Do particular patient groups (ie, age range, gender, race, time since injury, time involved in adaptive sports, type and/or severity of disability) benefit more than others from adaptive sports participation?
KQ 2: What are the potential harms of participation in adaptive sports programs among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), limb amputation, hearing loss or deafness, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord disorder, spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke/cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or visual impairment or blindness?
KQ 3: What are the known facilitators of and barriers to the participation in adaptive sports programs among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), limb amputation, hearing loss or deafness, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord disorder, spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke/cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or visual impairment or blindness?
Population(s):Individuals age 18 and older with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), limb amputation, hearing loss or deafness, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord disorder, spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke/cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or visual impairment or blindness
Interventions: Adaptive sports programs defined for this review as organized programs at any level (eg, community-based, Paralympic) involving 1) a sport that has either been adapted or created specifically for persons with a disability and 2) a group of individuals working together under a coach or program director (eg, a swim program with a coach).
NOTE: We would include studies of Paralympic athletes who might be training on their own but with the intention of competing.
Comparator: Usual care (including community-based rehabilitation), other intervention, or no intervention; studies may be pre- to post-participation in an adaptive sports program, cross-sectional, or trials.
NOTE: We would not include comparisons of different training programs, different wheelchair designs/components, different prosthesis designs, etcetera.
Outcome(s):Effectiveness of adaptive sports among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), limb amputation, hearing loss or deafness, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spinal cord disorder, spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke/cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or visual impairment or blindness measured by:
health and wellness (eg, management of blood pressure, weight, diabetes [indicated by loss of diagnosis or reduction in medications], pressure sores); smoking cessation; alcohol control (indicated by loss of alcohol dependence)
daily functioning (eg, falls, activities of daily living, Bartel index, Functional Independence Measure [FIM])
community reintegration (engagement in other community activities, continuing participation in adaptive sport after the end of the adaptive sport program)
participation in social activities
quality of life
health care utilization
participation in adaptive sports programs
improvement in physical health or PTSD scale scores
Harms of adaptive sports measured by:
worsening of physical disability
worsening of physical health or PTSD scale scores
costs/burden (system, individual, societal)
Facilitators to adaptive sports
Barriers to adaptive sports
Setting: Community-based adaptive sports programs (to include adaptive sports programs that begin during inpatient rehabilitation and continue to an outpatient/community based phase).
Cost-effectiveness of Leg Bypass vs Endovascular Therapy for Critical Limb Ischemia
Background/Objectives of Review
The proposed evidence review would be used to provide guidance to VHA vascular surgeons through communication pathways including the Vascular Surgery Specialty Advisory Board and the VISN Chief Surgical Consultants, Chiefs of Surgery, and Section Chiefs of Vascular Surgery at VHA facilities.
KQ1: Among adults with CLI, what is the cost-effectiveness of leg bypass compared to endovascular procedures including balloon angioplasty, arterial stents, and atherectomy?
KQ2: Does the cost-effectiveness of leg bypass compared to endovascular procedures for CLI vary by patient population, setting, or time (short vs long-term)?
Population(s): Patients with critical limb ischemia undergoing intervention
Interventions: Endovascular intervention
Comparator: Surgical intervention
Outcome(s): Cost-effectiveness, quality of life, major adverse limb events (MALE), mortality, complications / morbidity, physiologic measures (patency, ABI, flow, etc), utilization measures (length of stay, readmission, repeat procedure).
Setting: All patients will be undergoing intervention – whether as an inpatient or outpatient
General Search Strategy
We will procure literature from a systematic search of PubMed, Medline, and Embase databases using terms related to “limb ischemia”. We will include RCTs, cohort studies, and cost-effectiveness studies.
The proposed ESP evidence synthesis review will be used by the Office of Mental Health Services to inform national VHA policy on VA substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. The Center of Excellence in Substance Addiction Treatment and Education (CESATE) would also disseminate the findings to the field to help ensure medication-assisted SUD treatments available to Veterans include the latest evidence on effectiveness and harms. This review would also have the potential to inform future SUD research priorities by identifying gaps in the literature.
KQ1: What are the benefits and harms of pharmacotherapy for cannabis use disorder?
KQ2: Are there known subpopulations for whom currently used pharmacotherapy is most/least effective for cannabis use disorder?
Population(s): Included: Non-pregnant adults and adolescents with known or suspected cannabis use disorder.
Excluded: Children and pregnant adults.
Interventions: Included: Pharmacotherapies identified as a potential treatment for cannabis use disorder with or without adjunctive treatment (eg, medication management; interpersonal therapy; contingency management [or motivational incentives]; CBT [including matrix therapy, relapse prevention]).
Excluded: Pharmacotherapies intended to treat other conditions.
Comparator: Usual care, placebo, or other interventions (comparison groups must receive the same adjunctive treatments)
To identify primary evidence examining pharmacotherapy for cannabis use disorder, we will evaluate the studies included in a 2014 systematic review. In addition, we will conduct a search of Ovid MEDLINE, OvidPsycINFO, and Ovid EBM Reviews Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR, DARE, HTA, Cochrane CENTRAL, etc) for studies published more recently (January 2014 to July 2018). Search strategies will be developed in consultation with a research librarian, and will be peer reviewed by a second research librarian using the instrument for Peer Review of Search Strategies (PRESS).6 We will review the bibliographies of relevant articles and contact experts to identify additional studies. To identify in-progress or unpublished studies, we will search ClinicalTrials.gov, OpenTrials, and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).
KQ1a: For adults, what are the effects of remote triage on patient satisfaction, health care utilization, case resolution, cost, and patient safety?
KQ1b: What is the impact of remote triage by different modalities (eg, telephone, video, web, SMS)?
KQ2: What are the identified best practices that impact the planning, execution, and evaluation of remote triage for adults seeking clinical care advice in a large-scale health system such as the VA?
KQ3: What are the types of outcomes used to assess the impact of remote triage?
Population(s): KQ1 & KQ2: Adults 18 years of age and older, and their families and caregivers
KQ2 ONLY: Stakeholders involved in the uptake, management, and implementation of remote triage services (eg, nurses, administrators, organizational leadership)
Interventions: Remote triage services as defined by the following: Pertaining to the initial assessment and management of acute, undifferentiated, unscheduled care initiated by patient or family member from a distance focused on a clinical care issue.
Comparator: KQ1: Usual care/standard of care, waitlist control, other active comparator-focused (eg, in-person care)
KQ 2 and KQ3: No comparator required
KQ1: Patient satisfaction, case resolution, patient safety, health care utilization, cost
KQ 2: Best practices for remote triage system (eg, insights into personnel, processes, and technologies needed to stand up a remote triage; implications for what works well and what does not in conducting remote triage)
KQ3: Outcomes used to assess remote triage from papers identified in KQ 1 and KQ2
KQ1: EPOC study designs: randomized controlled studies (RCT), non-randomized controlled studies, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time-series studies or repeated measures studies
KQ2: EPOC study designs as well as prospective cohort and case-control if the n is greater than 100, qualitative studies, surveys, systematic reviews, organizational case studies, case series, and guidelines
General Search Strategy
We will conduct a primary search from 2000 to the current date of MEDLINE® (via PubMed®), and CINAHL. We will use a combination of MeSH keywords and selected free-text terms to search titles and abstracts. To ensure completeness, search strategies will be developed in consultation with an expert librarian.
This review will be used by the VA Caregiver Support Program, the VA Office of Patient Experience, and the Choose Home Moonshot Workgroup to inform the work of the VA Secretary’s Choose Home Moonshot Initiative. The Moonshot aims to enhance policies and practices nationwide to optimize the ability of Veterans in VA to remain in their own homes if that is their desired setting of care. Specifically, this review will provide a critical appraisal of the available evidence on the effectiveness of various interventions designed to delay nursing home placement among adults with functional or cognitive impairments who are currently living at home.
KQ1: What are the modifiable risk factors that lead to long-term placement in nursing homes?
KQ2: What is the effectiveness of home- and community-based interventions, and group homes or medical foster homes, for preventing or delaying long-term placement in nursing homes?
KQ3: Which characteristics of adults with impairments moderate the effectiveness of home- and community-based interventions, group homes, or medical foster homes in preventing or delaying long-term placement in nursing homes?
Population(s): Adults, Veterans and non-Veterans, with physical or cognitive impairments (due to older age or frailty, dementia, TBI, and/or PTSD)
Interventions: Diverse and complex home- and community-based interventions:
Home-based primary care, outpatient geriatric assessment and case management
Outpatient or home-based rehabilitation, nursing services, or other medical care
Physical activity or exercise (not as part of rehabilitation program)
In-home assistance with non-healthcare activities (home aides, home repair, etc)
Adult day clinics
Community health workers, friendly visits
Nutritional programs (Meals on Wheels, congregant dining, grocery delivery, etc)
Transportation and mobility services
Alternative housing with range of services (assisted living or group homes, medical foster homes, etc)
Financial support and benefits (caregiver stipends, Cash and Counseling, etc)
Comparator: Usual care or other intervention
Outcome(s): Long-term placement in nursing home, function, quality of life, hospitalizations, cost, mortality, harms
General Search Strategy
We will search MEDLINE, Sociological Abstracts, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase, PROSPERO, Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), Joanna Briggs Institute Database, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Center reports, and VA ESP reports.
Evidence Map of Arts and Humanities Programs: Arts Program
Background/Objectives of Review
The proposed ESP evidence synthesis will be used to guide the use of arts and humanities to improve Veteran health in the VHA. OPCC&CT leadership will use the findings to inform clinical practice and policy, and to develop guidance on the best use of arts and humanities in Veteran health care. We will also host an interactive evidence map on the ESP site to present findings from the evidence map.
We will develop an evidence map for art therapy,which allows us to visually depict the distribution of evidence available to provide an overview of art therapy that describes the volume, nature, and characteristics of research in this area.
Population(s): Any health condition
Interventions: Art therapy
Outcome(s): Patient health outcomes
Setting: Any healthcare-related setting
General Search Strategy
We conducted broad searches from database inception through May 5, 2018 using terms related to art therapy in two databases: PubMed and PsycINFO.