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
Division of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction (Div. II)
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:

  • Transforming Violence and Conflict into Hope and Innovation: Establishing a Center of Excellence for Training and Research in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo University of Michigan Global Challenges Third Century, Phase 1–Seed Funding (6/13 – 5/14) Role: PI (Miller, PI) Goal: We focus on developing 1) training and 2) research programs to optimize approaches to health implemented around the world while supporting the specific mission of two institutions in Bukavu: Panzi Hospital and UEA. The training program will start with a mental health certification. The research component will evaluate additional projects (three already launched) and serve as a hub for research proposals from around the world.
  • 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.
  • Development of a Research/Program Development Collaboration with Panzi Hospital, Evangelical University in Africa (UEA) in the DRC, and the University of Michigan Center for Advancing Research and Solutions for Society (Fall 2012 – ongoing) Role: PI (Miller, co-PI, along with Jane Hassinger, co-PI) Goal: On site delegation at DRC, sustaining relationships, acting on the signed Memo of Understanding for establishing an on site Research Hub collaboration, building policies and procedures manual. Pilot the hub’s processing by evaluating and enhancing a region wide mental health program.
  • 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.


Dr. Miller currently teaches Design, Methods, and Analysis II (N831). For many years she taught Data Management and Statistics (N603) and Pathophysiology (N502).


Notable Awards / Honors

  • American Urogynecological Society Best Clinical/Evaluation/Testing Paper Award, first author, 2012
  • American Urogynecological Society Best Clinical Paper Award, 2010
  • Poster Honorable Mention, NIDDK Symposium Clinical Research, 2009
  • Best Poster Award, American Urogynecology, 2009
  • Best Paper Award, American Urogynecology, 2009
  • Exemplary Team Award, University of Michigan, 2008


  • 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

  • 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.
  • Zielinksi R, Ackerson K, Misiunas R, Miller JM. Feasibility of a longitudinal study of women anticipating first pregnancy and assessed by multiple pelvic exams: Recruitment and retention challenges. Contemporary Clinical Trials 2010;31(6): 544-8. PMID: 20713182.
  • Kearney R, Mbehan, Keane D, Miller J, Delancey J,,Co'herlihy: Levator ani injury in primiparous women with forceps delivery for fetal distress, forceps for second stage arrest, and spontaneous delivery. Internat’l J. of Gynec Obstet; 2010; 111(1): 19-22.
  • 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
  • Yousuf A, DeLancey JO, Brandon CJ, Miller JM. Pelvic Floor Recovery in Primiparous Women at 1 Month Compared to 7 Months After Vaginal Delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009;201(5):514.e1-7. PMID: 19683686.
  • 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.