Enhancing Mental and Physical Health of Women through Engagement and Retention (EMPOWER): A protocol for a program of research

Alison B. Hamilton, Melissa M. Farmer, Tannaz Moin, Erin P. Finley, Ariel J. Lang, Sabine M. Oishi, Alexis K. Huynh, Jessica Zuchowski, Sally G. Haskell, Bevanne Bean-Mayberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The Enhancing Mental and Physical health of Women through Engagement and Retention or EMPOWER program represents a partnership with the US Department of Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Service Research and Development investigators and the VA Office of Women's Health, National Center for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Primary Care-Mental Health Integration Program Office, Women's Mental Health Services, and the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. EMPOWER includes three projects designed to improve women Veterans' engagement and retention in evidence-based care for high-priority health conditions, i.e., prediabetes, cardiovascular, and mental health. Methods/Design: The three proposed projects will be conducted in VA primary care clinics that serve women Veterans including general primary care and women's health clinics. The first project is a 1-year quality improvement project targeting diabetes prevention. Two multi-site research implementation studies will focus on cardiovascular risk prevention and collaborative care to address women Veterans' mental health treatment needs respectively. All projects will use the evidence-based Replicating Effective Programs (REP) implementation strategy, enhanced with multi-stakeholder engagement and complexity theory. Mixed methods implementation evaluations will focus on investigating primary implementation outcomes of adoption, acceptability, feasibility, and reach. Program-wide organizational-, provider-, and patient-level measures and tools will be utilized to enhance synergy, productivity, and impact. Both implementation research studies will use a non-randomized stepped wedge design. Discussion: EMPOWER represents a coherent program of women's health implementation research and quality improvement that utilizes cross-project implementation strategies and evaluation methodology. The EMPOWER Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) will constitute a major milestone for realizing women Veterans' engagement and empowerment in the VA system. EMPOWER QUERI will be conducted in close partnership with key VA operations partners, such as the VA Office of Women's Health, to disseminate and spread the programs nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 2017


  • Cardiovascular risk reduction
  • Collaborative care
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Implementation science
  • Patient engagement
  • Replicating effective programs
  • Stepped wedge
  • Women veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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