Cancer Epidemiology Research Cooperative (CERC)
POWDER Study (Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Disabilities: Epidemiologic Research)
Principal Investigator: Beth A. Mueller, DrPh
Co-Investigators: Melissa Schiff, MD, MPH
Deb Crane, MD, MPH
The prevalence of disability among Americans is increasing, with higher levels among women than men. Women with disabilities may face extra challenges or have characteristics placing them or their infants at increased risk of adverse outcomes such as low birth weight or prematurity. Childbearing among women with disabilities has increased, but few studies have examined pregnancy course and birth outcomes among women with chronic conditions that may restrict mobility or care access, or which may alter their health status during pregnancy or impact their own, or their child’s health after birth. Most prior studies were based on small numbers of women from single clinics, and so results may not represent the larger population.
Given the growing numbers of these women who are having babies, it is important to improve our understanding of how they may achieve healthy outcomes and offspring. Investigators from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are collaborating in this study, which uses existing birth certificate and hospital discharge data to examine pregnancy outcomes in women with physical, intellectual, and other disabilities. The conditions we will examine include multiple sclerosis; paralyses and conditions that limit mobility such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, polio, stroke; or spina bifida; muscular and other dystrophies; epilepsy and systemic lupus; cystic fibrosis; blindness, deafness; and intellectual disabilities.
The aims of our study are to:
Associations we may find between the presence of specific conditions and the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes could provide physicians with new insights into how best to care for women with disability during, and after their pregnancies and deliveries.
We welcome input from individuals with insights into the care of these women, and from women with disabilities.
Melissa Schiff, MD, MPH Beth Mueller, DrPH Deb Crane, MD, MPH
Epidemiology Professor Epidemiology Professor Assistant Professor of
and Ob-Gyn consultant at University of Washington Rehabilitation Medicine
the University of Washington and Researcher, University of Washington/
Email: email@example.com Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Harborview Medical Center
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Members of the study team will be attending the following meetings and events:
To be determined.