Giurgescu and colleagues awarded $1.8 million NIH/NINR R01 grant

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) has awarded a $1.8 million R01 grant to fund the study titled, “Paternal Role in Adverse Birth Outcomes in Black Families.” The multiple-PI grant was awarded to Carmen Giurgescu, PhD, RN, WHNP, associate professor in The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD, of University of Michigan and Dawn Phillips Misra, PhD, at Wayne State University. The study was funded from September, 2018 to June, 2022.

 

 According to the PIs, “the few studies that have explored paternal effects on birth outcomes have generally excluded understanding the dynamic, complex, and often correlated maternal-paternal relationship…studies often have been limited to an examination of paternal age, occupation, or socioeconomic status. The proposed study will assess whether and how fathers may have an impact on successful birth outcomes.”

 

“Black women are more likely to have adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight infants compared with White women,” said Giurgescu. “Although the literature has identified a number of risk factors for adverse birth outcomes associated with mothers, little attention has been given to understanding the role of fathers on birth outcomes. Our study will consider the role of social determinants of health, specifically disadvantaged neighborhoods and experiences of racial discrimination for expectant fathers, and their influences on expectant parents’ mental health and birth outcomes among Black families. We will also measure maternal and paternal telomere length, a biological indicator of chronic stress, and its relationship to adverse birth outcomes.” 

The study aims to add another dimension to efforts to reduce racial disparities. “This information can serve as the foundation for recommendations aimed at family-centered interventions to reduce adverse birth outcomes," Giurgescu stated.