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Release Date: 10/18/2016

Despite nearly one million births involving labor induction each year in the US, there has been no single regimen for induction that has been accepted as being superior for patient experience, quality outcomes and costs.  

Valery A. Danilack, MPH, PhD, research associate in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, and the Brown University School of Public Health, has recently received a five-year, $533,000 Research Scientist Development Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Her research is entitled “Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions for Labor Induction.”

“My goal is to determine optimal methods of labor induction that minimize harm and maximize benefits while balancing operational cost,” explained Dr. Danilack. “We propose to utilize advanced statistical techniques to study important tradeoffs between the effectiveness, side effects, resource use, and patient preferences of interventions used for labor induction.”

The study has three aims:

  • To establish what is known about the comparative effectiveness of labor induction through a systematic review and meta-analysis of published literature;
  • To establish a comprehensive database of deliveries at Women & Infants Hospital involving labor induction and survey postpartum patients about the labor induction experience, then analyze the relationship between different labor induction methods and patient-relevant and hospital-level outcomes;
  • To examine the tradeoff between benefits, harms and costs across different labor induction interventions from the perspective of the patients and of the hospital using decision analyses.


Dr. Danilack said, “The findings of this research will help inform labor induction policies and clinical guidelines, as well as improve education for patients and providers.”

Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, chair and Chace-Joukowsky Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and assistant dean for Teaching and Research in Women’s Health at the Alpert Medical School, professor of epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health, and chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and Care New England Health System, praised Dr. Danilack and her research, “In addition to being proud of Dr. Danilack and her work, we are supporting Dr. Danilack through this award demonstrating Women & Infants and Brown University’s commitment to not only improving the health of women, but also to training the next generation of leaders in women’s health.”

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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