Janis M. Miller

Dr. Janis M. Miller

Janis M. Miller, PhD, RN, APRN, FAAN

Associate Professor
Research Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, U-M Medical School
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 3218

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 764-4545
Fax: (734) 615-1666

Scholarly Expertise / Activity


  • Recovery from tissue trauma of the pelvic floor (bone, muscle, nerve) from obstetric labor complication with secondary prevention of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence
  • Mechanistic insights about behavioral treatment of urinary incontinence
  • Effects of dietary intake, type and amount of beverages, in relation to lower urinary tract symptoms such as overactive bladder or urge incontinence
  • Collaborating with Panzi hospital and 'Université Evangelique en Afrique (UEA), located in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through establishing a research center, we aim to “foster local capacity to solve local problems of global significance.”

Dr. Miller's expertise lies in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women, such as pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence, and in investigating the underlying causative factors. She is a part of the Pelvic Floor Research Group at the University of Michigan, an internationally recognized team working to improve the understanding and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. In her own practice as a Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Millers draws on her particular expertise, working at the Taubman Obstetrics & Gynecology pelvic floor specialty clinic, which includes the Michigan Healthy Healing after Delivery Program. Additionally, Dr. Miller collaborates with an exciting team of investigators at Panzi Hospital and at the Evangelical University in Africa, in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. She has helped to launch the International Center for Advanced Research and Training (ICART) in Bukavu.

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • Maternal Birth-Related Neuromuscular Injury and Recovery III, NIH NICHD/ORWH 2-P50-HD-04440611, Project 002 (09/22/12– 05/31/17) Role: PI (Miller, PI) Common Name: Evaluating Maternal Recovery from Labor and Delivery III (EMRLD3) Goal: “Injury Extension” will determine whether minor clinically insignificant levator ani muscle injury after first birth extends to a clinically significant tear during second birth. Because a second birth doubles the risk of genital prolapse, this event offers the opportunity of preventing injury and their sequelae later in life.
  • R01 NR012011-01 (Sampselle, Miller Co-Investigator) 9/28/2010 – 6/30/2015 Translating Unique Learning for Incontinence Prevention Goal: This longitudinal RCT tests two forms of delivery in behavioral interventions to see if there is equivalence in preventing urinary incontinence using an educational DVD or a group behavioral program. As Co-Investigator, I am responsible for over-site of two embedded educational components that I have previously developed, including the “Knack maneuver.” This maneuver employs learned timing of volitional levator ani contraction to suppress both urge and stress-type leakage.
  • U01NR004061 15A1 (Harlow, Miller Co-Investigator) 5/1/09 – 4/30/14 Perimenopause, Bone and Arthritis in African Americans Common Name: Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN IV Michigan) Goal: To continue to characterize the impact of menopause among Caucasian and African American women in relation to bone status, arthritis and blood pressure. This well-known longitudinal trial, nearly two decades in operation, now for the first time includes survey data on prolapse. The relationship of prolapsed to prior well-documented life events, such as lifestyle, hormonal and obstetric information, will greatly enhance our knowledge about risk factors and natural history.


Janis's research team includes 4-5 doctoral students and 1-2 visiting scholars.

Notable Awards / Honors

  • 2013 ACNM Best Podium Presentation by the Division of Research
  • 2012 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
  • American Urogynecological Society Best Clinical/Evaluation/Testing Paper Award
  • American Urogynecological Society Best Clinical Paper Award, 2010
  • Poster Honorable Mention, NIDDK Symposium Clinical Research, 2009
  • Best Poster Award, American Urogynecology, 2009


  • Post-Master's Certificate ANP, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2001
  • Postdoc, Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1999
  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1996
  • MSN, Loyola University of Chicago, IL, 1988
  • BSN, Goshen College, Goshen, IN, 1981

Publication Highlights

  • Zielinksi R, Kane Low L, Miller J, Sampselle C. Validity and reliability of a scale to measure genital body image. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 2012;38(4):309-24. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.569639.
  • Low LK, Miller JM, Guo Y, Ashton-Miller JA, Delancey JO, Sampselle CM. Spontaneous pushing to prevent postpartum urinary incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial. Int Urogynecol J. 2013 Mar;24(3):453-60. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1884-y. PMCID: PMC3980478.
  • Low LK, Zielinski R, Tao Y, Galecki, A, Brandon C, Miller J. Predicting birth-related levator ani tear severity at first vaginal birth. OJOG. 2014;4(6):266-78. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2014.46043.
  • Ashton-Miller J, Zielinski R, DeLancey J, Miller JM. Measurement of female maximum isometric levator ani muscle strength unconfounded by intra-abdominal pressure. J. of Biomechanics. 2014
  • Brincat C, DeLancey JO, Miller JM. Does urethral closure pressure differ between women with and without levator ani muscle defects after first birth? Int urogynecol J. 2011 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21617981.
  • Brandon C, Jacobson J, Low L, Park L, DeLancey JO, Miller J. Pubic bone injuries after first childbirth: utility of MR in detection and differential diagnosis of structural injury. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2011; Jul 4.doi: 10.1002/usog9082 [epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21728205.
  • Zielinksi R, Kane Low L, Miller J. Validity and reliability of a scale to measure genital body image image. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 2011; 60(2): 115-123.
  • Miller J, Brandon C, Jacobson J, Kane-Low L, Zielinski R., Ashton-Miller J, DeLancey J. MRI findings in patients at high risk for pelvic floor injury studied serially post-vaginal childbirth. Am J Roentgenol 2010; 195(3): 786-91. PMID: 20729461
  • Miller J, Sampselle C, Ashton-Miller J, Son G, DeLancey J. Clarification and confirmation of the effect of volitional pelvic floor muscle contraction to preempt urine loss (the Knack maneuver) in stress incontinent women. Int Urogynecol J. 2008;19:773-782.
  • DeLancey JO, Morgan DM, Fenner DE, Kearney R, Guire K, Miller JM, Hussain H, Umek W, Hsu Y, Ashton-Miller JA. Comparison of levator ani muscle defects and function in women with and without pelvic organ prolapse. Obstet Gyneco. 2007;109(2):295-301
  • DeLancey JO, Miller J, Kearney R, Howard D, Reddy P, Umek W, Guire K, Margulies R, Ashton-Miller J. Vaginal birth and de novo stress incontinence; Relative contributions of urethral dysfunction and support loss. Obstet Gyneco. 2007;110(2 Pt 1):354-62.
  • Kearney R, Miller J, DeLancey J. Interrater reliability and physical examination of the pubovisceral portion of the levator ani muscle, validity comparisons using MR imaging. Neurourol Urodyn. 2006;25(1):50-4.
  • Kearney R, Miller J, Ashton-Miller J, DeLancey J. Obstetrical factors associated with levator ani muscle injury after vaginal birth. Obstet Gyneco. 2006;107(1):144-149.
  • Miller JM, Umek WH, DeLancey JO, Ashton-Miller JA. Can women increase urethral closure pressures without their pubococcygeus muscles? Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;191(1):171-5.
  • Miller JM, Ashton-Miller JA, DeLancey JO. Quantification of cough-related urine loss using the paper towel test. Obstet Gyneco. 1998;91(5):705-9.