Lyndon headshot

Audrey Lyndon


Professor, Nursing & Medicine
Assistant Dean for Clinical Research

1 212 992 5940

433 First Avenue
Room 606
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

Audrey Lyndon's additional information

Audrey Lyndon, PhD, FAAN, RNC, is the assistant dean for clinical research and a professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her research focuses on safety, communication, and teamwork in maternity and neonatal settings, using the qualitative methods of grounded theory and thematic analysis to examine the perspectives of clinicians and parents on maintaining safety in the perinatal environment. Her team has conducted ground-breaking research developing an understanding of how women and parents conceptualize safety during childbirth and neonatal intensive care. She has also conducted population-based studies of maternal morbidity and has experience with mixed methods approaches. Lyndon is a national leader in perinatal patient safety. She serves as a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Staffing Task Force, and as a liaison member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, and. Her clinical experience includes the implementation of quality improvement practices and evidence-based guideline development. The Obstetric Hemorrhage Toolkit, produced by a task force that she co-chaired for the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, has been taken up nationally and internationally as a model for collaborative quality improvement. Lyndon is currently a principal investigator for a study investigating relationships between obstetric nursing practice and patient outcomes funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Lyndon was chair of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and held the James P. and Marjorie A. Livingston Chair in Nursing Excellence.

Lyndon received a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of California, San Francisco, MS in Nursing with perinatal clinical nurse specialist emphasis from University of California, San Francisco, and a BA in biology and women’s studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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)


How care decisions are made among interdisciplinary providers caring for critically injured patients: A qualitative study

Stey, A. M., Wybourn, C. A., Lyndon, A., Knudson, M. M., Dudley, R. A., Liu, P., Bongiovanni, T., & Ryan, G. W. (2020). Surgery (United States), 167(2), 335-339. 10.1016/j.surg.2019.11.009
Background: Injury is the leading cause of death in people under 45 years of age in the United States; however, how care decisions occur in critical injury is poorly understood. This exploratory study sought to generate hypotheses about how care decisions are made among interdisciplinary providers caring for patients who have been critically injured. Methods: This was a qualitative study conducted at two intensive care units in a level 1 trauma center in an urban, teaching, safety-net hospital. Semistructured interviews consisted of case scenarios with competing clinical priorities presented to 25 interdisciplinary providers, elucidating how decisions are approached. Responses were recorded, transcribed, and coded. Thematic analysis was conducted to discover central themes. Category formulation and sorting was done for data reduction and thematic structuring of the data. The range and central tendency of these themes are reported. Results: The central theme for how care decisions are made among interdisciplinary providers was through the distribution of shared responsibility. The distribution of shared responsibility depended on interdisciplinary communication to navigate the two subthemes of time and roles. Time had to be navigated carefully, because it was both an opportunity for data acquisition and consensus building but also a pressure to decisively progress care. Roles were distinct but interchangeable and consisted of experts, actualizers, and questioners. Conclusion: Care decisions are made in the context of shared responsibility among interdisciplinary providers. Interdisciplinary communication is a means of establishing roles and navigating time to distribute shared responsibility among interdisciplinary providers.

Listening to Women: Recommendations from Women of Color to Improve Experiences in Pregnancy and Birth Care

Altman, M. R., McLemore, M. R., Oseguera, T., Lyndon, A., & Franck, L. S. (2020). Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 65(4), 466-473. 10.1111/jmwh.13102
INTRODUCTION: Women of color are at increased risk for poor birth outcomes, often driven by upstream social determinants and socially structured systems. Given the increasing rate of maternal mortality in the United States, particularly for women of color, there is a pressing need to find solutions to improving care quality and access for racially marginalized communities. This study aims to describe and thematically analyze the recommendations to improve pregnancy and birth care made by women of color with lived experience of perinatal health care.METHODS: Twenty-two women of color living in the San Francisco Bay Area and receiving support services from a community-based nonprofit organization participated in semistructured interviews about their experiences receiving health care during pregnancy and birth. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed, and transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis to highlight recommendations for improving perinatal care experiences.RESULTS: Participants shared experiences and provided recommendations for improving care at the individual health care provider level, including spending quality time, relationship building and making meaningful connections, individualized person-centered care, and partnership in decision making. At the health systems level, recommendations included continuity of care, racial concordance with providers, supportive health care system structures to meet the needs of women of color, and implicit bias trainings and education to reduce judgment, stereotyping, and discrimination.DISCUSSION: Participants in this study shared practical ways that health care providers and systems can improve pregnancy and birth care experiences for women of color. In addition to the actions needed to address the recommendations, health care providers and systems need to listen more closely to women of color as experts on their experiences in order to create effective change. Community-centered research, driven by and for women of color, is essential to improve health disparities during pregnancy and birth.

Missed Nursing Care During Labor and Birth and Exclusive Breastfeeding During Hospitalization for Childbirth

Simpson, K. R., Lyndon, A., Spetz, J., Gay, C. L., & Landstrom, G. L. (2020). MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000644
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine associations between missed nursing care and nurse staffing during labor and birth, and exclusive breast milk feeding at hospital discharge.STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Labor and birth nurses in three states were surveyed about missed nursing care and their maternity units' adherence to the AWHONN (2010) nurse staffing guidelines for care during labor and birth, using the Perinatal Misscare Survey. Nursing responses were aggregated to the hospital level and estimated associations between missed nursing care, nurse staffing, and hospitals' exclusive breast milk feeding rates were measured using The Joint Commission's Perinatal Care Measure (PC-05).RESULTS: Surveys from 512 labor nurses in 36 hospitals were included in the analysis. The mean exclusive breast milk feeding rate was 53% (range 13%-76%). Skin-to-skin care, breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth, and appropriate recovery care were on average occasionally missed (2.33 to 2.46 out of 4; 1 = rarely, 2 = occasionally, 3 = frequently, or 4 = always) and were associated with PC-05 [B(CI) -17.1(-29, -6.3), -17.9(-30.5, -6.2), and -15.4(-28.7, -2.1), respectively]. Adherence with overall staffing guidelines was associated with PC-05 [12.9(3.4, 24.3)]. Missed nursing care was an independent predictor of PC-05 [-14.6(-26.4, -2.7)] in a multilevel model adjusting for staffing guideline adherence, perceived quality, mean age of respondents, and nurse burnout.CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Exclusive breast milk feeding is a national quality indicator of inpatient maternity care. Nurses have substantial responsibility for direct support of infant feeding during the childbirth hospitalization. These results support exclusive breast milk feeding (PC-05) as a nurse-sensitive quality indicator.

Nursing surveillance for deterioration in pediatric patients: An integrative review

Stotts, J. R., Lyndon, A., Chan, G. K., Bekmezian, A., & Rehm, R. S. (2020). Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 50, 59-74. 10.1016/j.pedn.2019.10.008
Problem: Adverse events occur in up to 19% of pediatric hospitalized patients, often associated with delays in recognition or treatment. While early detection is recognized as a primary determinant of recovery from deterioration, most research has focused on profiling patient risk and testing interventions, and less on factors that impact surveillance efficacy. This integrative review explored actions and factors that influence the quality of pediatric nursing surveillance. Eligibility criteria: Original research on nursing surveillance, escalation of care, or cardiopulmonary deterioration in hospitalized pediatric patients in non-critical environments, published in English in peer reviewed journals. Sample: Twenty-four studies from a literature search within the databases of CINAHL, PubMed, and Web of Science were evaluated and synthesized using a socio-technical systems theory framework. Study quality was assessed using The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Results: Assessment, documentation, decision-making, intervening and communicating were identified as activities associated with surveillance of deterioration. Factors that influenced nurses' detection of deterioration were patient acuity, nurse education, experience, expertise and confidence, staffing, standardized assessment and communication tools, availability of emergency services, team composition and opportunities for multidisciplinary care planning. Conclusions: Research provides insight into some aspects of nursing surveillance but does not adequately explore factors that affect clinical data interpretation and synthesis, and role integration between nurse and parents, and nurse and other clinicians on surveillance of clinical stability. Implications: Research is needed to enhance understanding of the contextual factors that impact nursing surveillance to inform intervention design to support nurses' timely recognition and mitigation of clinical deterioration.

Pre-pregnancy Obesity and the Risk of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

Cho, S.-H., Leonard, S. A., Lyndon, A., Main, E. K., Abrams, B., Hameed, A. B., & Carmichael, S. L. (2020). American Journal of Perinatology. 10.1055/s-0040-1712451
OBJECTIVE:  The aim of this study is to evaluate the contribution of pre-pregnancy obesity and overweight to peripartum cardiomyopathy.STUDY DESIGN:  This population-based study used linked birth record and maternal hospital discharge data from live births in California during 2007 to 2012 (n = 2,548,380). All women who had a diagnosis of peripartum cardiomyopathy during the childbirth hospitalization or who were diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy during a postpartum hospital readmission within 5 months of birth were identified as cases. Pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was classified as normal weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (25.0-29.9), obesity class 1 (30.0-34.9), obesity class 2 (35.0-39.9), and obesity class 3 (≥40). Because of small numbers, we excluded women with underweight BMI, and in some analyses, we combined obesity classes into one group. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) expressing associations between BMI and peripartum cardiomyopathy, adjusted for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, health care payer, parity, plurality, and comorbidities.RESULTS:  The overall prevalence of peripartum cardiomyopathy during hospital admissions was 1.3 per 10,000 live births (n = 320). Unadjusted ORs were 1.32 (95% CI: 1.01-1.74) for women with overweight BMI and 2.03 (95% CI: 1.57-2.62) for women with obesity, compared with women with normal pre-pregnancy BMI. Adjusted ORs were 1.26 (95% CI: 0.95-1.66) for overweight women and 1.38 (95% CI: 1.04-1.84) for women with obesity. The ORs suggested a dose-response relationship with increasing levels of obesity, but the 95% CIs for the specific classes of obesity included 1.00.CONCLUSION:  Pre-pregnancy obesity was associated with an increased risk of peripartum cardiomyopathy. These findings underscore the importance of BMI during pregnancy. There is a need to recognize the increased risk of peripartum cardiomyopathy in women with high BMI, especially in the late postpartum period.KEY POINTS: · Pre-pregnancy obesity affects maternal health.. · Effects may extend to peripartum cardiomyopathy.. · The risk includes peripartum cardiomyopathy that emerges postpartum..

Providers' perceptions of communication and women's autonomy during childbirth: A mixed methods study in Kenya

Afulani, P. A., Afulani, P. A., Buback, L., Kelly, A. M., Kirumbi, L., Cohen, C. R., Cohen, C. R., & Lyndon, A. (2020). Reproductive Health, 17(1). 10.1186/s12978-020-0909-0
Background: Effective communication and respect for women's autonomy are critical components of person-centered care. Yet, there is limited evidence in low-resource settings on providers' perceptions of the importance and extent of communication and women's autonomy during childbirth. Similarly, few studies have assessed the potential barriers to effective communication and maintenance of women's autonomy during childbirth. We sought to bridge these gaps. Methods: Data are from a mixed-methods study in Migori County in Western Kenya with 49 maternity providers (32 clinical and 17 non-clinical). Providers were asked structured questions on various aspects of communication and autonomy followed by open ended questions on why certain practices were performed or not. We conducted descriptive analysis of the quantitative data and thematic analysis of the qualitative data. Results: Despite acknowledging the importance of various aspects of communication and women's autonomy, providers reported incidences of poor communication and lack of respect for women's autonomy: 57% of respondents reported that providers never introduce themselves to women and 38% reported that women are never able to be in the birthing position of their choice. Also, 33% of providers reported that they did not always explain why they are doing exams or procedures and 73% reported that women were not always asked for permission before exams or procedures. The reasons for lack of communication and autonomy fall under three themes with several sub-themes: (1) work environment - perceived lack of time, language barriers, stress and burnout, and facility culture; (2) provider knowledge, intentions, and assumptions - inadequate provider knowledge and skill, forgetfulness and unconscious behaviors, self-protection and comfort, and assumptions about women's knowledge and expectations; and (3) women's ability to demand or command effective communication and respect for their autonomy - women's lack of participation, women's empowerment and provider bias. Conclusions: Most providers recognize the importance of various aspects of communication and women's autonomy, but they fail to provide it for various reasons. To improve communication and autonomy, we need to address the different factors that negatively affect providers' interactions with women.

Providers' perceptions of disrespect and abuse during childbirth: A mixed-methods study in Kenya

Afulani, P. A., Kelly, A. M., Buback, L., Asunka, J., Kirumbi, L., & Lyndon, A. (2020). Health Policy and Planning, 35(5), 577-586. 10.1093/heapol/czaa009
Disrespect and abuse during childbirth are violations of women's human rights and an indicator of poor-quality care. Disrespect and abuse during childbirth are widespread, yet data on providers' perspectives on the topic are limited. We examined providers' perspectives on the frequency and drivers of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth in a rural county in Kenya. We used data from a mixed-methods study in a rural county in Western Kenya with 49 maternity providers (32 clinical and 17 non-clinical) in 2016. Providers were asked structured questions on disrespect and abuse, followed by open-ended questions on why certain behaviours were exhibited (or not). Most providers reported that women were often treated with dignity and respect. However, 53% of providers reported ever observing other providers verbally abuse women and 45% reported doing so themselves. Observation of physical abuse was reported by 37% of providers while 35% reported doing so themselves. Drivers of disrespect and abuse included perceptions of women being difficult, stress and burnout, facility culture and lack of accountability, poor facility infrastructure and lack of medicines and supplies, and provider attitudes. Provider bias, training and women's empowerment influenced how different women were treated. We conclude that disrespect and abuse are driven by difficult situations in a health system coupled with a facilitating sociocultural environment. Providers resorted to disrespect and abuse as a means of gaining compliance when they were stressed and feeling helpless. Interventions to address disrespect and abuse need to tackle the multiplicity of contributing factors. These should include empowering providers to deal with difficult situations, develop positive coping mechanisms for stress and address their biases. We also need to change the culture in facilities and strengthen the health systems to address the system-level stressors.

Recurrence of severe maternal morbidity: A population-based cohort analysis of California women

Bane, S., Wall-Wieler, E., Lyndon, A., & Carmichael, S. L. (2020). Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 10.1111/ppe.12714
BACKGROUND: Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) has increased in the United States by 45% in the last decade. While the recurrence of several adverse pregnancy outcomes from one pregnancy to the next has been established, the recurrence risk of SMM is unknown.OBJECTIVE: To determine whether women who have SMM in a first pregnancy are at increased risk of SMM in their second pregnancy, compared to women who did not have SMM in their first pregnancy.METHODS: This is a population-based study using linked vital statistics and hospital discharge records from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in California from 1997 to 2012. The study population had their first two singleton births (live births or stillbirths) in California between 1997 and 2012 (n = 1 180 357). The primary exposure was SMM during the hospitalisation at first birth, and the primary outcome was SMM during the hospitalisation at second birth. Prevalence and risk ratios of SMM at second birth were computed for women who did and did not have SMM at first birth, as well as for certain specific indicators of SMM.RESULTS: Of the 1 180 357 women included in this analysis, 9088 (77 per 10 000 births) experienced SMM at first birth. Among these women, the prevalence of SMM at second birth was 470 per 10 000 births, compared to 68 per 10 000 births among women without SMM at first birth. This corresponded to an unadjusted risk ratio of 6.87 (95% CI 6.23, 7.57), which did not differ substantially when adjusted for factors known to be associated with SMM (6.42, 95% CI 5.86, 7.13).CONCLUSION: Women experiencing SMM in their first pregnancy were at an approximately sixfold increased risk of experiencing SMM in their second pregnancy.

Reflecting on Equity in Perinatal Care during a Pandemic

Niles, P. M., Asiodu, I. V., Crear-Perry, J., Julian, Z., Lyndon, A., McLemore, M. R., Planey, A. M., Scott, K. A., & Vedam, S. (2020). Health Equity, 4(1), 330-333. 10.1089/heq.2020.0022
Growing discourse around maternity care during the pandemic offers an opportunity to reflect on how this crisis has amplified inequities in health care. We argue that policies upholding the rights of birthing people, and policies decreasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission are not mutually exclusive. The explicit lack of standardization of evidence-based maternity care, whether expressed in clinical protocols or institutional policy, has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities. If these factors remain unexamined, then it would seem that equity is not the priority, but retaining power and control is. We advocate for a comprehensive understanding of how this pandemic has revealed our deepest failures.

Adaptation of the MISSCARE Survey to the Maternity Care Setting

Simpson, K. R., Lyndon, A., Spetz, J., Gay, C. L., & Landstrom, G. L. (2019). JOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 48(4), 456-467. 10.1016/j.jogn.2019.05.005
Missed nursing care is an important measure of nursing care quality that is sensitive to nurse staffing and is associated with patient outcomes in medical-surgical and pediatric inpatient settings. Missed nursing care during labor and birth has not been studied, yet childbirth represents the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States. The Missed Nursing Care (MISSCARE) Survey, a measure of medical-surgical nursing quality with substantial evidence for validity and reliability, was adapted to maternity nursing care using data from focus groups of labor nurses, physicians, and new mothers and an online survey of labor nurses. Content validity was evaluated via participant feedback, and exploratory factor analysis was performed to identify the factor structure of the instrument. The modified version, the Perinatal Missed Care Survey, appears to be a feasible and promising instrument with which to evaluate missed nursing care of women during labor and birth in hospitals.