Evidence-Based Intervention Adaptations Within the Veterans Health Administration: a Scoping Review

Aimee Kroll-Desrosiers, Erin P. Finley, Alison B. Hamilton, Leopoldo J. Cabassa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Veterans receiving care within the Veterans Health Administration (VA) are a unique population with distinctive cultural traits and healthcare needs compared to the civilian population. Modifications to evidence-based interventions (EBIs) developed outside of the VA may be useful to adapt care to the VA healthcare system context or to specific cultural norms among veterans. We sought to understand how EBIs have been modified for veterans and whether adaptations were feasible and acceptable to veteran populations. Methods: We conducted a scoping review of EBI adaptations occurring within the VA at any time prior to June 2021. Eligible articles were those where study populations included veterans in VA care, EBIs were clearly defined, and there was a comprehensive description of the EBI adaptation from its original context. Data was summarized by the components of the Framework for Reporting Adaptations and Modifications to Evidence-based interventions (FRAME). Findings: We retrieved 922 abstracts based on our search terms. Following review of titles and abstracts, 49 articles remained for full-text review; eleven of these articles (22%) met all inclusion criteria. EBIs were adapted for mental health (n = 4), access to care and/or care delivery (n = 3), diabetes prevention (n = 2), substance use (n = 2), weight management (n = 1), care specific to cancer survivors (n = 1), and/or to reduce criminal recidivism among veterans (n = 1). All articles used qualitative feedback (e.g., interviews or focus groups) with participants to inform adaptations. The majority of studies (55%) were modified in the pre-implementation, planning, or pilot phases, and all were planned proactive adaptations to EBIs. Implications for D&I Research: The reviewed articles used a variety of methods and frameworks to guide EBI adaptations for veterans receiving VA care. There is an opportunity to continue to expand the use of EBI adaptations to meet the specific needs of veteran populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2383-2395
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • adaptations
  • intervention
  • veterans
  • veterans administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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