'Ask the Experts' addresses the opioid epidemic on cesarean sections

The latest episode in the “Ask the Experts” series features Danielle Symons Downs, professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology, and associate director of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State, discussing her research on the links between cesarean section deliveries and opioid prescribing after birth.

Downs also speaks about several initiatives aimed at combating the opioid epidemic and bringing awareness to maternal death rates in the United States, including the Penn State Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse and the March of Dimes’ #BlanketChange movement.

Watch the interview.

In the “Ask the Experts” video series, produced by the Center for Health Care and Policy Research (CHCPR) at Penn State, leaders in the industry share their perspectives on key topics affecting health care delivery and policy. The series is designed to reveal where and how important policy and practice topics intersect, and highlight ways in which research can advance that integration.

View past episodes of “Ask the Experts.”

Downs’ primary research theme is to design theoretically-driven, optimized, behavioral interventions to promote energy balance (e.g., increase physical activity, manage weight) in order to improve health outcomes for women and their offspring during the preconceptional, prenatal and postpartum/postnatal periods. Her research also involves translating her intervention findings to clinical settings. More about Downs' exercise psychology laboratory can be found here.   

Dennis Scanlon, distinguished professor of health policy and administration and director ofCHCPR in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, interviews the guests on the “Ask the Experts” series. Scanlon’s research focuses on understanding the role of measurement, incentives, quality improvement and individual and organizational behavior change for improving important health care outcomes, including clinical quality, patient experience and economic efficiency. 

The mission of CHCPR is to create and disseminate new scientific knowledge that will help private and public decision-makers to develop cost effective services and programs that improve people's health. CHCPR helps researchers interested in all aspects of health services and health care improvement find funding, develop quality research designs, collect and analyze data, and disseminate findings to the right audiences.