Resources specific to military and Veterans
To support our work and the work of collaborators across the Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S.), we have identified:
- assets that can be drawn upon in providing timely demand-driven evidence support linked to advisory and decision-making processes that will affect the health and wellbeing of military personnel, Veterans and their families
- key features of the health-system context in which any available evidence needs to be understood for military personnel and their families, and separately for Veterans and their families.
Details related to each of these areas can be found in the sections below, with hyperlinks provided to assist with navigating key resources drawn from a research evidence profile that we have prepared.
Assets that can be drawn upon in providing timely, demand-driven evidence support:
To jump directly to the sources of evidence of interest to you, click on the links below
- Nine sources of global evidence can be drawn upon in providing timely, demand-driven evidence support, including key sources like the Continuum of Evidence (from the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness) and the VA Evidence Synthesis Program.
- A few searchable sources of existing domestic evidence can be rapidly drawn upon, and this resource list is likely to grow as more domestic evidence is compiled in a way to make them easily retrievable or searchable databases have not been made publicly available.
- Several searchable sources of existing domestic recommendations can be rapidly drawn upon, the most important being the U.S. clinical practice guidelines for military personnel and Veterans.
- Many sources of domestic research studies and other types of information, however, they are typically not organized by form of evidence or recommendations, which makes them very difficult to use on short (e.g., one to five day) timelines.
- A description of a military- and Veterans-focused evidence-support system can also be accessed for Canada and a framework for putting evidence at the centre of government decision-making for Veterans’ matters is available for the U.K.
Key features of the health-system context for military personnel and their families
- Across all Five Eyes countries, the national government (through their respective defence departments) and armed forces oversee the health-system arrangements for military personnel, which includes the provision of healthcare services, supports for health-related military readiness, and health workforce training, as well as preparing medical standards and developing appropriate policies and procedures. The key responsible entities are Australia’s Joint Health Command, Canadian Forces Health Services, New Zealand’s Defence Health Services, U.K’s Defence Medical Services, and the U.S. Defense Health Agency (within the U.S. Military Health System).
- Similar categories of healthcare services – such as emergency, primary care, community and social services, preventive health, and specialist care – are funded for active military personnel across the Five Eyes countries, with covered services typically itemized in countries like Canada (with Spectrum of Care) and the U.S. (with TRICARE) that operate with a health-insurance plan model for their civilian populations.
- Most services are delivered by military personnel (or by military personnel working alongside civilian healthcare workers), in military-owned facilities, and using military-procured infrastructure, including an electronic health record (EHR) specific to military personnel. Some countries have service contracts with a healthcare organization that is not part of the military.
- Funding and delivery arrangements for reservists and for families may work similarly or differently than for military personnel.
Additional details are available in the ‘What we found’ section of a rapid evidence profile for care by sector (e.g., primary care) and for priority conditions (e.g., mental health), treatments (e.g., prescription drugs), and populations (e.g., women and 2SLGBTQ+ individuals).
Key features of the health-system context for Veterans and their families
- In three of the Five Eyes countries the national government has a designated department that oversees veterans’ affairs (Australia, Canada and the U.S.), in one veterans’ affairs is a branch of the defence force (New Zealand), and in another veterans’ affairs is located within Cabinet Office (U.K.). The entities for overseeing the health-system arrangements for Veterans are: 1) Australia’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, with its own Minister and Assistant Minister; 2) Veterans Affairs Canada with its own Minister; 3) Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, one of four branches of the New Zealand Defence Force but with its own Minister for Veterans; 4) the U.K. Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which is an office within Cabinet Office but with its own Secretary of State (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs); and 5) the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is led by the Under Secretary for Health and is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which in turn is led by Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
- In three of the Five Eyes countries these entities primarily play a role as a funder of services for eligible Veterans (Australia, Canada and New Zealand) with non-funded services handled through civilian health systems, in one the entity relies primarily on the civilian health system (U.K.), and in another the entity oversees an integrated delivery system focused on Veterans (U.S.).
- Healthcare funding and delivery arrangements for families are typically the same as for other civilians, although in Australia and New Zealand, dependents may be eligible for some forms of healthcare coverage.
Additional details are available in the ‘What we found’ section for care by sector and for priority conditions, treatments, and populations.
More detailed listing of assets that can be drawn upon in providing timely, demand-driven evidence support
We found nine sources of global evidence that can be drawn upon in providing timely, demand-driven evidence support.
|Sources of global evidence||Scope (jurisdictional and/or substantive)||Focus (military personnel,|
Veterans and families)
|Continuum of Evidence (from the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness) – ‘level’ of evidence available about program effectiveness||U.S. lens||Families|
|VA Evidence Synthesis Program – evidence syntheses prepared to support VA leaders (with a separate tab for ones in progress)||U.S. lens||Veterans|
|McMaster Health Forum – evidence syntheses prepared in response to requests from DND and VAC||Canada lens||Use filter for military and Veterans (as a topic of interest)|
|ACCESSSS – evidence syntheses meeting minimum quality criteria (when the ‘review’ filter is applied)||Clinical programs, services and products||Add search terms to limit to military or Veterans|
|Health Evidence – evidence syntheses with a quality appraisal||Public-health programs and services||Add search terms to limit to military or Veterans|
|Health Systems Evidence – evidence syntheses with a quality appraisal and ‘best’ filter||Health-system arrangements and implementation strategies||Use filter for military and Veterans (as a population of interest)|
|Social Systems Evidence – same as HSE||Sectors other than health||Same as HSE (and note that ‘Military’ is also a filter under ‘Public safety and justice’)|
|Evidence Aid – evidence syntheses||Humanitarian emergencies||Add search terms to limit to military or Veterans (little available)|
|PubMed – evidence syntheses (when the ‘systematic review’ filter is applied after running a search)||Health||Add search terms to limit to military or Veterans|
We found few searchable sources of existing domestic evidence that can be rapidly drawn upon, perhaps because such sources have not been compiled in a way to make them easily retrievable or searchable databases have not been made publicly available.
Sources of domestic evidence, by form of evidence and jurisdiction
|Focus (military personnel, Veterans and families)|
|None identified with a focus on health|
|None identified with a focus on health (for research studies that may include qualitative designs, see below)|
We found several searchable sources of existing domestic recommendations that can be rapidly drawn upon, only one of which specifically targets military personnel and Veterans.
Sources of domestic recommendations by form of evidence and jurisdiction
Focus (military personnel Veterans and families)
|Military and Veterans|
|Health technology assessments|
We found many sources of domestic research studies and other types of information, however, they are typically not organized by form of evidence or recommendations, which makes them very difficult to use on short (e.g., one to five day) timelines.
Sources of domestic research studies and other types of information, by jurisdiction
Focus (military personnel, Veterans and families)
Australia – Department of Defence – Military health outcomes research
|Australia – Department of Defence – Mental health research and evaluation||Military|
|Australia – Department of Veterans’ Affairs – Health and social research studies||Veterans and their families|
|Australia – Australian Military Medicine Association – Journal articles||Military, Veterans and their families|
|Canada – Centre for Military and Veterans Health Research – ‘Heat map’ of primary studies (no link found)||Military, Veterans and their families|
|Canada – Defence Research and Development Canada – Research reports (with most focus on innovations, not evidence ready for application)||Military|
Canada – Veterans Affairs Canada funded centres
|Military, Veterans and their families|
|U.K. – Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) Research Centre – Knowledge repository||Veterans and their families|
|U.K. – King’s Centre for Military Health Research – Publications||Military, Veterans and their families|
|U.K. – National Institute of Health Research – Policy research units||All citizens (health policy research)|
|U.S. – Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Services Research and Development – Studies and implementation projects (undertaken by VA HSR&D centres)||Veterans (health services research)|
|U.S. – Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development – Cooperative studies program focused on large, multi-centre evaluations (e.g., randomized controlled trials)|
|U.S. – VA Health Services Research and Development – Funded research consortia focused on key priorities (access, pain/opioids, suicide prevention, virtual care)||Veterans (health services research)|
|U.S. – VA Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers and Centers of Excellence – Education and clinical products (undertaken by MIRECCs / CoEs)||Veterans (mental health)|
|Five Eyes – Five Eyes International Collaboration – Focus on mental-health research, however, no list of reports is available||Military and Veterans|
|NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine – Medical Knowledge Management Portal (requires approval for registration)||Military|