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About the PFDN


PFDN members come from eight medical centers across the United States, along with a coordinating center. The PFDN members work together to develop and perform research studies related to women with pelvic floor disorders. In this way, studies can be done more quickly than if the medical centers were working alone. Doctors, nurses, other health care workers, and support staff all play important roles.The PFDN team wants to learn more about how to help women with pelvic floor problems. Treatments are available, but there are still questions about how best to take care of women with pelvic floor problems. The PFDN was started to study pelvic floor problems and come up with answers to these questions.

Participating Sites

The PFDN consists of eight research sites, a data coordinating center, and NICHD:
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, Alabama
  • Duke University - Durham, North Carolina
  • University of California at San Diego - San Diego, California
  • Kaiser Permanente (affiliated with UCSD) - San Diego, California
  • Kaiser Permanente - Bellflower (affiliated with UCSD) - Bellflower, California
  • Cleveland Clinic - Cleveland, Ohio
  • University of New Mexico - Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • University of Pittsburgh-Magee - Pittsburgh, PA
  • University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Women and Infants Hospital (Brown University) - Providence, Rhode Island

Research Studies

The PFDN wants to learn more about how to help women with pelvic floor problems. Treatments are available, but many questions about how best to take care of women with pelvic floor problems are still unanswered. The PFDN was started to study pelvic floor problems and come up with answers to these questions. Our current research studies are shown in the box to the right. Click the link to find out more about each study.

Steering Committee

The PFDN Steering Committee has primary responsibility for the development and conduct of protocols and the preparation of publications.  The Steering Committee membership is limited to the Principal Investigator from each Clinical Center, the Principal Investigator from the Data Coordinating Center, and the NICHD Program Scientist.

Katherine E. Hartmann, MD, PhD from Vanderbilt University is the Steering Committee Chair.



Active Research Studies
ABC: Anticholinergics versus Botox Comparison in Women with Urge Incontinence

AIMS: Anal Incontinence Measurement Scale

BOOST: Behavioral Therapy Of Obstetric Sphincter Tears: Behavioral Therapy versus Usual Care in Primiparous Women with Anal Sphincter Tears and Fecal Incontinence

OPTIMAL: Operations and Pelvic Muscle Training in the Management of Apical Support Loss: A Randomized Trial of Sacrospinous Ligament Suspension (ULS) with and without Perioperative Behavioral Therapy/ Pelvic Muscle Training

E-OPTIMAL: Extended Follow-up of Patients Enrolled in OPTIMAL

ROSETTA: Refractory Overactive Bladder: Sacral Neuromodulation v. Botulinum Toxin Assessment

RUM: ROSETTA Urinary Marker Study

SUPeR: Study of Uterine Prolapse Procedures - Randomized Trial