Carolyn M. Sampselle, PhD, ANP, FAAN

Professor Emerita
Room 3240 NURS1

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

Telephone: (734) 615-8752
Fax: (734) 647-0351


  • Urinary incontinence
  • Preventative self-care
  • Feminist understanding of birth
  • Science of RCTs
  • Community-based research

Dr. Sampselle’s primary research focus is self-management in the context of the prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence in women, and she also performs community-based research with an emphasis on establishing productive partnerships with members of the community. With continuous support from the National Institutes of Health for more than 15 years, she has conducted four randomized clinical trials to develop evidence-based self-management interventions with her research and scholarship generating more than eighty peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She is a founding member of the periodical Every Woman: The Essential Guide to Healthy Living, has received the Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research in recognition of her research's contributions to women’s health, and was named chair of the Strategic Plan 2011-2016 Development Committee.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Self-Care for the Prevention Birth-Related Urinary Incontinence in Diverse Women, NINR R01, PI
  • Michigan Center for Health Intervention (MICHIN), PI
  • Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research – CTSA, Co-I


In addition to traditional classroom teaching, primarily at the graduate level, Dr. Sampselle has mentored approximately fifty master's, doctoral and post-doctoral students. In 2010, Dr. Ruth Zielinski, (whose dissertation was co-chaired by Dr. Sampselle along with Dr. Lisa Kane Low) was the first nursing student to receive the Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Award through U-M Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Dr. Sampselle's teaching philosophy stems from the realization that the most satisfying educational experiences involve a co-learning relationship between her as the instructor and the student. She is deeply appreciative of the opportunity she has as an educator to share in the numerous research journeys that U-M School of Nursing's graduate women's health students have undertaken.

Affiliations / Service

  • American Nurses Association, State of Michigan, District 51 and Council of Nurse Researchers, Council of Advanced Practice, 1972-present
  • American Academy of Nursing, 1992-present
  • Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, 1999-present
  • Midwest Nursing Research Society, 1983-present
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Rho Chapter, 1964-present
  • American Urogynecology Society, 1997-present
  • International Continence Society, 1996-present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Named Carolyne K. Davis Collegiate Chair, University of Michigan School of Nursing, 2000
  • Continence Care Champion, National Association for Continence, 2002
  • Pathfinder Award, Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research, 2008
  • Named Robert Wood Johnson National Mentor for RWJ Nurse Scholars Program, 2010
  • Doctoral Student, Ruth Zielinski first Nursing doctoral student to be awarded UM Rackham Distinguished Dissertation Award, April 29, 2010
  • Named Chair, National Institute for Nursing Research, Strategic Plan Development Committee, 2010


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1985
  • MSN, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1968
  • BSN, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH,1965

Publication Highlights

  • Antonakos, C.L., Miller, J.M., & Sampselle, C.M. (2003). Indices for studying urinary incontinence and levator ani function in primiparous women, Journal of Clinical Nursing, 12, 554-561.

  • Diokno, A.C., Sampselle, C.M., Herzog, A.G., Raghunathan, T.E., Hines, S., Messer, K.L., Karl, C., Leite, M.C.A. (2004). Prevention of urinary incontinence by behavioral modification program: A randomized controlled trial among older women in the community. The Journal of Urology, 171, 1165-1171.

  • Sampselle, C.M., Palmer, M.H., Boyington, A.R., O’Dell, K.K., & Wooldridge, L. (2004). Prevention of urinary incontinence in adults: Population-based strategies. Nursing Research, 53(6S), S61-67.

  • Sampselle, C.M., Messer, K.L., Seng, J.S., Raghunathan, T.E., Hines, S.H., & Diokno, A.C. (2005). Learning outcomes of a group behavioral modification program to prevent urinary incontinence. International Urogynecology Journal, 16, 441-446. Selected for review from Evidence-based Obstetrics and Gynecology,8, 112-113, Sampselle, CM (2006), “Group behavior modification program increased knowledge and practice of pelvic floor muscle training.”

  • Sampselle, C.M., Miller, J.M., Luecha, Y., Fischer, K., & Rosten, L. (2005). Provider support of spontaneous pushing during the second stage of labor. JOGNN, 34(6), 695-702.

  • Messer, K.L., Herzog, A.R., Seng, J.S., Sampselle, C.M., Diokno, A.C., Raghunathan, T.E., & Hines, S.H. (2006). Evaluation of a mass mailing recruitment strategy to obtain a community sample of women for a clinical trial of a prevention intervention. International Journal of Urology and Nephrology, 38, 255-261.

  • Armstrong, S.M., Miller, J.M., Benson, K., Jain, S., Panagopolous, K., DeLancey, J.O.L., & Sampselle, C.M. (2006). Revisiting reliability of quantified perineal ultrasound: Bland & Altman analysis of a new protocol for the rectangular coordinate method. Neurology and Urodynamics, 25(7) 731-738.

  • Sampselle, C.M. (Jan.-March 2007). Nickle & Dimed in America: Underserved, understudied and underestimated. Family and Community Health, 30(15), S4-S14.

  • Hines, S.H., Seng, J.S., Messer, K.L., Raghunathan, T.E., Diokno, A.C., & Sampselle, C.M. (2007). Adherence to a behavioral program to prevent incontinence. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 29(1), 38-56.

  • Hines, S.H., Sampselle, C.M., Ronis, D.L., Yeo, S.A., Frederickson, B.L., & Boyd, C.J. (2007). Women’s self-care agency and body experience to manage urinary incontinence: The impact of nursing agency and body experience. Advances in Nursing Science, Women and Aging, 30(2), 175-188.

  • Messer, K.L., Hines, S.H., Raghunathan, T.E., Seng, J.S., Diokno, A.C., & Sampselle, C.M. (2007). Self-efficacy as a predictor to PFMT adherence in a prevention of urinary incontinence clinical trial. Health Education & Behavior, 34(6), 942-952.

  • Miller, J., Sampselle, C.M., Ashton-Miller, J., Hong, G.R., DeLancey, J. (2008). Clarification and confirmation of the knack maneuver: The effect of volitional pelvic floor muscle contraction to preempt expected stress incontinence. International Urogynecology Journal, 19(6):773-82.

  • Waetjen, L.E., Lioa, S., Johnson, W.O., Sampselle, C.M., Sternfield, B., Harlow, S. & Gold, E.B. (2007). Factors associated with prevalent and incident urinary incontinence in a cohort of mid-life women: A longitudinal analysis of data from the study of women’s health across the nation (SWAN). American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access, 165(3), 309-318.

  • Sampselle, CM, Pienta, K, Markel, D. (2010). The CTSA Mandate: Are we there yet? Research for Theory and Nursing Practice, Volume 24, Number 1: 64-73.

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