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Research Project

The Loyola PLUS Clinical Center

Principal Investigator
Hebert-Beirne, Jeni
Research Area(s)
Community Engagement
Women's Health
Funding Source
National Institutes of Health 1U01DK106898


The Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Loyola Clinical Center (PLUS-LCC) at Loyola University Chicago is a well-organized, experienced, collaborative team that has been designed to robustly contribute to the goals of the PLUS consortium. With depth and breadth of research expertise, PLUS-LCC is leading four, well-integrated studies that map onto an interdependent ecological level of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) influence and facilitate examination of within-study and cross-study consideration of risk and protective factors. The PLUS-LCC will optimize these valuable research cohorts through the use of an overlapping subsample of study participants and mixed-methodological approaches. The studies are exploring the community, cultural context by engaging in a Chicago-wide participatory, mixed methodological community-based Pelvic Health Assessment by conducting the first Chicago LUTS and community health survey, first large scale qualitative study on community members pelvic health perceptions, behaviors and knowledge groups, and conduct landscape assessment to characterize Chicago's health care system where women interface. PLUS-LCC is also examining individual-level influences and behavior through the study of urinary microbiome variability and comparison of individual behaviors, assessing musculoskeletal milleu in lower-and back pain to determine its association with LUTS; and investigating relationship-level influence to locate LUTS discussion patterns, vertically among generations and horizontally among peers. As a strong contributor for PLUS, the Loyola Clinical Center contributes expertise in study concept, design, conduct, analysis and dissemination. Its collaborative approach will help bring out the best in other PLUS investigators, as they will for us. The PLUS network has the opportunity to make advances in the long understudied role of LUTS prevention.