What is the Pregnancy Health Interview Study?

Researchers from Boston University School of Public health are interviewing women to discover whether there are health or environmental factors which may be related to fetal development. In a single 35 minute telephone interview, our nurse interviewers will ask some question about your medical history, previous pregnancies, nutrition, occupation and health behaviors, as well as questions on medication use and vaccines.

How do I participate?

A week after our letter arrives, you’ll receive a call from one of our nurse interviewers. Your schedule is important to us; interviews can be scheduled during the day, evening or weekends to accommodate your schedule. Your participation is voluntary and all information is kept strictly confidential. If you’d like to get started right away, call or email the nurse interviewer listed in your packet.

Meet Our Interviewers

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Clare Coughlin, R.N. Laurie Cincotta, R.N. Kathy Sheehan, R.N. Moira Quinn, R.N.
(877) 805-0003 (866) 278-3511 (800) 727-0273 (877) 517-7374


Frequently Asked Questions

How was I selected?

We contact women in 5 different regions of the U.S. We obtain minimal information on a baby’s health at birth in order to invite their mother to participate in this important research. All sites have reviewed and approved the study protocol through their Institutional Review Boards.

Tennessee, Pennsylvania, California, Rhode Island & Delaware Residents:
You were selected from a discharge list from a participating hospital in your state.

New York or Massachusetts Residents:
You were selected from registry data collected by the MA or NY Department of Public Health.

Why was I contacted?

We invite mothers of  babies with and without birth problems to participate in our study. We obtain minimal information on the baby’s health at birth (for example, a discharge code) in order to invite their mothers to participate in this important research.

Mothers whose babies don’t have birth problems are selected randomly from women who gave birth at each participating site.

Will anyone see my answers to your questions?

All information you give us during the interview is kept confidential.
• We will never use your name or your child’s name in any report or publication.
• Information about you will not be shared with anyone outside the study, including insurance companies or government agencies.
• Records are kept under lock and key. Identifying information is removed. Computer files are password protected.

If I have been selected to participate, what do I do?

About one week after you receive our packet in the mail, a nurse interviewer will call to set up a convenient interview time.

Where can I see the results of this study?

You can read about our results in our newsletter. In addition , short summaries of selected publications can be found here.

Why do you need a medical record release form?

We use medical records to confirm that we have the most complete and accurate information on the health status of each infant in our study. If you have any reservations, you can write on the release form what specific information you don’t want to release.

We prefer medical records on all infants as it helps validate our research. However, signing a release is not necessary to participate in the phone interview.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about the Pregnancy Health Interview Study?

Dawn Jacobs, R.N., M.P.H., Project Coordinator
(617) 206-6204


Participant Information:

(866) 896-1097 (toll free-bilingual English/Spanish line)

What is the cost of participating in this study?

Participation requires only 35 minutes of your time. We can also reimburse for cell phone minutes used during the interview.