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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

GW: The Biostatistics Center to Coordinate National Study on Cesareans and Opioid Use

The Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network (MFMU Network), which includes The Biostatistics Center based at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study opioid prescription patterns and pain management after a cesarean delivery.

The MFMU Network, comprised of 12 clinical centers nationwide, a data coordinating center and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), was established in 1986 to conduct studies to improve maternal and fetal outcomes. The Biostatistics Center serves as the data coordinating center for the network. In this role, the Center manages numerous aspects of the study, including working with the researchers on the study design, developing the operation manuals; designing and implementing the data collection systems; and analyzing data for the study.

The research will focus on opioid prescriptions given to women when they leave the hospital after a cesarean delivery. The study aims to improve opioid prescribing practices at discharge so that less medication remains unused without compromising post-discharge pain management by implementing Individualized Opioid Prescription Protocols, which are tailored to a specific woman’s pain needs and includes the patient in the decision-making process on the number of opioids prescribed.

The award is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative. The MFMU Network’s award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the NIH in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.

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