Audrey Lyndon


Audrey Lyndon Headshot

Audrey Lyndon


Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity
Assistant Dean for Clinical Research

1 212 922 5940

433 First Ave
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

Audrey Lyndon's additional information

Dr. Lyndon is the Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity and assistant dean for clinical research at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her equity work is focused in two areas: maternal health equity and diversifying the nursing science and healthcare workforce. Dr. Lyndon’s maternal health work has focused on patient safety and quality in maternity and neonatal care, including improving communication and teamwork among clinicians; identifying parents’ perspectives on safety during labor, birth, and neonatal care; developing nurse-sensitive outcomes for labor and birth; and research on severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality. Her team has conducted groundbreaking research on differences in clinicians’ and parents’ perspective on speaking up about safety concerns and developing an understanding of how women and parents conceptualize safety during childbirth and neonatal intensive care. Dr. Lyndon co-chaired the development of the CMQCC Obstetric Hemorrhage Toolkit, which became a national and international model for maternal safety bundles and collaborative quality improvement. Dr. Lyndon recently completed a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality examining relationships between nursing care during labor and patient outcomes. She is currently focused on understanding the experiences of Black and Latinx survivors of severe maternal morbidity to better identify their support needs, research priorities, and community-driven prevention targets for severe maternal morbidity. Dr. Lyndon’s work on diversifying the nursing science and healthcare workforce includes mentoring and sponsorship of historically excluded clinicians and scientists and efforts to build effective pathways programs for historically excluded individuals into nursing, nursing science, and clinical specialties.

PhD - University of California, San Francisco
MS - University of California, San Francisco
BA - University of California, Santa Cruz

Women's health
Health Services Research

American Academy of Nursing
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Educational Affiliate
American Nurses Association
Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
International Family Nursing Association

Faculty Honors Awards

Reviewer of the Year, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing (2017)
Irving Harris Visiting Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Nursing (2015)
Distinguished Professional Service Award, Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (2013)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2012)
Award of Excellence in Research, Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (2011)


Emotional safety is patient safety

Lyndon, A., Davis, D. A., Sharma, A. E., & Scott, K. A. (2023). BMJ Quality and Safety, 32(7), 369-372. 10.1136/bmjqs-2022-015573

Examining respect, autonomy, and mistreatment in childbirth in the US: do provider type and place of birth matter?

Niles, P. M., Baumont, M., Malhotra, N., Stoll, K., Strauss, N., Lyndon, A., & Vedam, S. (2023). Reproductive Health, 20(1). 10.1186/s12978-023-01584-1
Background: Analyses of factors that determine quality of perinatal care consistently rely on clinical markers, while failing to assess experiential outcomes. Understanding how model of care and birth setting influence experiences of respect, autonomy, and decision making, is essential for comprehensive assessment of quality. Methods: We examined responses (n = 1771) to an online cross-sectional national survey capturing experiences of perinatal care in the United States. We used validated patient-oriented measures and scales to assess four domains of experience: (1) decision-making, (2) respect, (3) mistreatment, and (4) time spent during visits. We categorized the provider type and birth setting into three groups: midwife at community birth, midwife at hospital-birth, and physician at hospital-birth. For each group, we used multivariate logistic regression, adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics, to estimate the odds of experiential outcomes in all the four domains. Results: Compared to those cared for by physicians in hospitals, individuals cared for by midwives in community settings had more than five times the odds of experiencing higher autonomy (aOR: 5.22, 95% CI: 3.65–7.45), higher respect (aOR: 5.39, 95% CI: 3.72–7.82) and lower odds of mistreatment (aOR: 0.16, 95% CI: 0.10–0.26). We found significant differences across birth settings: participants cared for by midwives in the community settings had significantly better experiential outcomes than those in the hospital settings: high- autonomy (aOR: 2.97, 95% CI: 2.66–4.27), respect (aOR: 4.15, 95% CI: 2.81–6.14), mistreatment (aOR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.11–0.34), time spent (aOR: 8.06, 95% CI: 4.26–15.28). Conclusion: Participants reported better experiential outcomes when cared for by midwives than by physicians. And for those receiving midwifery care, the quality of experiential outcomes was significantly higher in community settings than in hospital settings. Care settings matter and structures of hospital-based care may impair implementation of the person-centered midwifery care model.

Hospital characteristics associated with nurse staffing during labor and birth: Inequities for the most vulnerable maternity patients

Simpson, K. R., Spetz, J., Gay, C. L., Fletcher, J., Landstrom, G. L., & Lyndon, A. (2023). Nursing Outlook, 71(3). 10.1016/j.outlook.2023.101960
Background: Evidence is limited on nurse staffing in maternity units. Purpose: To estimate the relationship between hospital characteristics and adherence with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses nurse staffing guidelines. Methods: We enrolled 3,471 registered nurses in a cross-sectional survey and obtained hospital characteristics from the 2018 American Hospital Association Annual Survey. We used mixed-effects linear regression models to estimate associations between hospital characteristics and staffing guideline adherence. Findings: Overall, nurses reported strong adherence to AWHONN staffing guidelines (rated frequently or always met by ≥80% of respondents) in their hospitals. Higher birth volume, having a neonatal intensive care unit, teaching status, and higher percentage of births paid by Medicaid were all associated with lower mean guideline adherence scores. Discussion and Conclusions: Important gaps in staffing were reported more frequently at hospitals serving patients more likely to have medical or obstetric complications, leaving the most vulnerable patients at risk.

Linking Patient Safety Climate with Missed Nursing Care in Labor and Delivery Units: Findings from the LaborRNs Survey

Zhong, J., Simpson, K. R., Spetz, J., Gay, C. L., Fletcher, J., Landstrom, G. L., & Lyndon, A. (2023). Journal of Patient Safety, 19(3), 166-172. 10.1097/PTS.0000000000001106
Objective This study aimed to explore the association of nurses' perceptions of patient safety climate with missed nursing care in labor and delivery (L&D) units. Methods We recruited nurse respondents via email distribution of an electronic survey between February 2018 and July 2019. Hospitals with L&D units were recruited from states with projected availability of 2018 state inpatient data in the United States. Measures included the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire Safety Climate Subscale and the Perinatal Missed Care Survey. We estimated the relationship between safety climate and missed care using Kruskal-Wallis tests and mixed-effects linear regression. Results The analytic sample included 3429 L&D registered nurses from 253 hospitals (response rate, 35%). A majority of respondents (65.7%) reported a perception of good safety climate in their units, with a mean score of 4.12 (±0.73) out of 5. The mean number of aspects of care occasionally, frequently, or always missed on respondents' units was 11.04 (±6.99) out of 25. χ2 Tests showed that six mostly commonly missed aspects of care (e.g., timely documentation) and three reasons for missed care (communications, material resources, and labor resources) were associated with safety climate groups (P < 0.001). The adjusted mixed-effects model identified a significant association between better nurse-perceived safety climate and less missed care (β = -2.65; 95% confidence interval, -2.97 to -2.34; P < 0.001) after controlling for years of experience and highest nursing education. Conclusions Our findings suggest that improving safety climate - for example, through better teamwork and communication - may improve nursing care quality during labor and birth through decreasing missed nursing care. Conversely, it is also possible that strategies to reduce missed care - such as staffing improvements - may improve safety climate.

Neighborhood disinvestment and severe maternal morbidity in the state of California

Mujahid, M. S., Wall-Wieler, E., Hailu, E. M., Berkowitz, R. L., Gao, X., Morris, C. M., Abrams, B., Lyndon, A., & Carmichael, S. L. (2023). American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM, 5(6). 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.100916
BACKGROUND: Social determinants of health, including neighborhood context, may be a key driver of severe maternal morbidity and its related racial and ethnic inequities; however, investigations remain limited. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the associations between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and severe maternal morbidity, as well as whether the associations between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and severe maternal morbidity were modified by race and ethnicity. STUDY DESIGN: This study leveraged a California statewide data resource on all hospital births at ≥20 weeks of gestation (1997–2018). Severe maternal morbidity was defined as having at least 1 of 21 diagnoses and procedures (eg, blood transfusion or hysterectomy) as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Neighborhoods were defined as residential census tracts (n=8022; an average of 1295 births per neighborhood), and the neighborhood deprivation index was a summary measure of 8 census indicators (eg, percentage of poverty, unemployment, and public assistance). Mixed-effects logistic regression models (individuals nested within neighborhoods) were used to compare odds of severe maternal morbidity across quartiles (quartile 1 [the least deprived] to quartile 4 [the most deprived]) of the neighborhood deprivation index before and after adjustments for maternal sociodemographic and pregnancy-related factors and comorbidities. Moreover, cross-product terms were created to determine whether associations were modified by race and ethnicity. RESULTS: Of 10,384,976 births, the prevalence of severe maternal morbidity was 1.2% (N=120,487). In fully adjusted mixed-effects models, the odds of severe maternal morbidity increased with increasing neighborhood deprivation index (odds ratios: quartile 1, reference; quartile 4, 1.23 [95% confidence interval, 1.20–1.26]; quartile 3, 1.13 [95% confidence interval, 1.10–1.16]; quartile 2, 1.06 [95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.08]). The associations were modified by race and ethnicity such that associations (quartile 4 vs quartile 1) were the strongest among individuals in the “other” racial and ethnic category (1.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.86) and the weakest among Black individuals (1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.98–1.16). CONCLUSION: Study findings suggest that neighborhood deprivation contributes to an increased risk of severe maternal morbidity. Future research should examine which aspects of neighborhood environments matter most across racial and ethnic groups.

Use of Galactagogues to Increase Milk Production Among Breastfeeding Mothers in the United States: A Descriptive Study

Ryan, R. A., Hepworth, A. D., Lyndon, A., & Bihuniak, J. D. (2023). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 123(9), 1329-1339. 10.1016/j.jand.2023.05.019
Background: Perceived insufficient milk is a primary reason for early breastfeeding cessation. Some breastfeeding mothers may use galactagogues (ie, foods, beverages, herbal supplements, and pharmaceuticals) to try to increase milk supply. However, milk production requires frequent and effective milk removal, and there is limited evidence on the safety and efficacy of galactagogues. Additional research on the use of galactagogues is needed to inform breastfeeding support. Objective: Describe the prevalence of use and perceived effects of galactagogues and compare galactagogue use by maternal characteristics. Design: Cross-sectional online survey. Participants/setting: A convenience sample of 1,294 adult women breastfeeding a singleton child and living in the United States were recruited using paid Facebook advertisements between December 2020 and February 2021. Main outcome measures: Self-reported current or previous use of galactagogues and their perceived effects on milk production. Statistical analyses performed: Frequencies and percentages described the use and perceived effects of galactagogues. The χ2 test of independence and independent t tests compared galactagogue use by select maternal characteristics. Results: More than half of participants (57.5%) reported using any galactagogues, 55.4% reported consuming foods or beverages, and 27.7% reported using herbal supplements. Few participants (1.4%) reported using pharmaceuticals. Participants reported varying effects of specific galactagogues on milk production. Reported galactagogue use was higher among participants who reported first-time breastfeeding (yes: 66.7% vs no: 49.3%; P < 0.001), breastfeeding pumped milk (yes: 63.1% vs no: 50.4%; P < 0.001), formula supplementation (yes: 66.8% vs no: 50.4%; P < 0.001), and perceived insufficient milk (yes: 78.8% vs no: 53.8%; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Breastfeeding mothers in the United States commonly reported using galactagogues to increase milk production, highlighting the need for research on the safety and efficacy of galactagogues and enhanced breastfeeding support.

Using medical expenditure panel survey data to explore the relationship between patient-centered medical homes and racial disparities in severe maternal morbidity outcomes

Tucker, C. M., Bell, N., Corbett, C. F., Lyndon, A., & Felder, T. M. (2023). Women’s Health, 19. 10.1177/17455057221147380
Background: There are persistent racial/ethnic disparities in the occurrence of severe maternal morbidity. Patient-centered medical home care has the potential to address disparities in maternal outcomes. Objectives: To examine (1) the association between receiving patient-centered medical home care and severe maternal morbidity outcomes and (2) the interaction of race/ethnicity on patient-centered medical home status and severe maternal morbidity. Design/Methods: Using 2007 to 2016 data from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, we conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the association between receipt of care from a patient-centered medical home and the occurrence of severe maternal morbidity, and racial-specific (White, Black, Asian, Other) relative risks of severe maternal morbidity. Our study used race as a proxy measure for exposure racism. We identified mothers (⩾15 years) who gave birth during the study period. We identified patient-centered medical home qualities using 11 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey questions and severe maternal morbidities using medical claims, and calculated generalized estimating equation models to estimate odds ratios of severe maternal morbidity and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Among all mothers who gave birth (N = 2801; representing 5,362,782 US lives), only 25% received some exposure patient-centered medical home care. Two percent experienced severe maternal morbidity, and this did not differ statistically (p = 0.11) by patient-centered medical home status. However, our findings suggest a 85% decrease in the risk of severe maternal morbidity among mothers who were defined as always attending a patient-centered medical home (odds ratios: 0.15; 95% confidence interval:0.01–1.87; p = 0.14) and no difference in the risk of severe maternal morbidity among mothers who were defined as sometimes attending a patient-centered medical home (odds ratios: 1.00; 95% confidence interval:0.16–6.42; p = 1.00). There was no overall interaction effect in the model between race and patient-centered medical home groups (p = 0.82), or ethnicity and patient-centered medical home groups (p = 0.62) on the severe maternal morbidity outcome. Conclusion: While the rate of severe maternal morbidity was similar to US rates, few mothers received care from a patient-centered medical home which may be due to underreporting. Future research should further investigate the potential for patient-centered medical home-based care to reduce odds of severe maternal morbidity across racial/ethnic groups.

Antidepressant use During Pregnancy: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Decision-Making of Patients and Providers

Eakley, R., & Lyndon, A. (2022). Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 67(3), 332-353. 10.1111/jmwh.13366
Introduction: Despite the risks associated with untreated perinatal depression and anxiety, both patients and clinicians are less likely to follow evidence-based guidelines including the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. The aim of this integrative review was to describe the perspectives of both patients and prescribing health care providers regarding the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. Methods: We performed a literature search in PubMed, CINAHL, ProQuest Central, and PsychINFO. Inclusion criteria were English language, original peer-reviewed research published within the previous 10 years that described perspectives regarding the use of antidepressants of pregnant patients or prescribing providers during pregnancy. Studies were excluded if their focus was on screening practices, treatment guidelines, or evaluation of decision support tool; medication or treatment broadly; bipolar disorder or serious mental illness; or they did not provide patient or provider perspective. This review was limited to professionals with scopes of practice that include prescriptive authority (eg, physicians, advanced practices nurses, midwives). Included articles were critically appraised and read in an iterative process to extract methodological details and synthesize findings. Results: Nineteen studies met criteria for inclusion and varied by design, sample, and quality. Together, the reviewed articles suggest that patients and prescribing providers hold a range of beliefs regarding the safety of antidepressant during pregnancy. Patients and providers appear to value different sources of information and varied in awareness of the negative impacts of untreated depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Many patients report dissatisfaction with available information and distress throughout the decision-making experience. Notably, patients and providers had incongruent perceptions of the others’ experience. Discussion: Inconsistencies between knowledge, attitudes, and decision-making highlight the need for improved dissemination of evidence-based treatments and support increased training for psychopharmacology during pregnancy. Efforts to reduce patient distress regarding their decisions, such as adequate time and information, are indicated.

Nurse-Reported Staffing Guidelines and Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding

Lyndon, A., Simpson, K. R., Spetz, J., Zhong, J., Gay, C. L., Fletcher, J., & Landstrom, G. L. (2022). Nursing Research, 71(6), 432-440. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000620
Background Nursing care is essential to overall quality of healthcare experienced by patients and families - especially during childbearing. However, evidence regarding quality of nursing care during labor and birth is lacking, and established nurse-sensitive outcome indicators have limited applicability to maternity care. Nurse-sensitive outcomes need to be established for maternity care, and prior research suggests that the initiation of human milk feeding during childbirth hospitalization is a potentially nurse-sensitive outcome. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between nurse-reported staffing, missed nursing care during labor and birth, and exclusive breast milk feeding during childbirth hospitalization as a nurse-sensitive outcome. Methods 2018 Joint Commission PC-05 Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding rates were linked to survey data from labor nurses who worked in a selected sample of hospitals with both PC-05 data and valid 2018 American Hospital Association Annual Survey data. Nurse-reported staffing was measured as the perceived compliance with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses staffing guidelines by the labor and delivery unit. Data from the nurse survey were aggregated to the hospital level. Bivariate linear regression was used to determine associations between nurse and hospital characteristics and exclusive breast milk feeding rates. Generalized structural equation modeling was used to model relationships between nurse-reported staffing, nurse-reported missed care, and exclusive breast milk feeding at the hospital level. Results The sample included 184 hospitals in 29 states and 2,691 labor nurses who worked day, night, or evening shifts. Bivariate analyses demonstrated a positive association between nurse-reported staffing and exclusive breast milk feeding and a negative association between missed nursing care and exclusive breast milk feeding. In structural equation models controlling for covariates, missed skin-to-skin mother-baby care and missed breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth mediated the relationship between nurse-reported staffing and exclusive breast milk feeding rates. Discussion This study provides evidence that hospitals' nurse-reported compliance with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses staffing guidelines predicts hospital-exclusive breast milk feeding rates and that the rates are a nurse-sensitive outcome.

Psychometric properties of the perinatal missed care survey and missed care during labor and birth

Lyndon, A., Simpson, K. R., Spetz, J., Fletcher, J., Gay, C. L., & Landstrom, G. L. (2022). Applied Nursing Research, 63. 10.1016/j.apnr.2021.151516