NICHD award supports research to provide evidence-based answers for women with pelvic floor disorders
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, was awarded a five-year grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to continue to serve as the data coordinating center for the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network (PFDN), which supports research to better understand the etiology and pathophysiology of pelvic floor disorders and provide evidence for prevention and treatment strategies.
RTI — which has served as data coordinating center since 2011 — will continue to lead statistical study design and data management efforts and to facilitate interactions between participating academic research centers who are performing studies. The partnership with these centers is critical to generate evidence-based clinical answers for providers and women who are impacted by the disorders.
“PFDN has provided critical data on pelvic floor disorders over the past 20 years, but more research is needed,” said Marie Gantz, Ph.D., a biostatistician at RTI and the principal investigator for the data coordinating center. “The network is poised to conduct innovative clinical trials and translational studies to provide evidence-based answers to help women with these disorders live better lives, and we are excited to play a pivotal role in coordinating that research.”
The public health burden of pelvic floor disorders is significant, and it continues to increase as the population ages. It is estimated to affect almost 25% of women between the ages of 20 and 80, and projections show that up to 58 million women will have at least one pelvic floor disorder by 2050.
Studies conducted by the PFDN have yielded considerable progress in our understanding of pelvic floor disorders while also developing research tools and novel approaches that have been used in clinical settings. However, additional research can identify treatments that will have long-term success rates and improve health outcomes for women who are impacted.
The PFDN is helping to address the knowledge gaps in clinical care of women with pelvic floor disorders. This award allows RTI the opportunity to continue its collaboration with other network institutions to better understand and provide safe and effective treatments for conditions that affect the quality of life for women.