Treating nocturnal enuresis in children

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 32003000719
Authors' objectives:

This Effective Health Care bulletin summarises the research evidence on the treatment of nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) in children.

Authors' recommendations: - Nocturnal enuresis in children (bedwetting) affects many families. Although it has a high rate of spontaneous remission, bedwetting may bring social and emotional stigma, stress and inconvenience to both the child and their family. - A variety of interventions are used to treat nocturnal enuresis. These include alarms, drugs such as desmopressin, simple behavioural methods such as star charts, as well as more complex multi-faceted interventions. - Much of the available research evaluating the effects of interventions is of poor quality and there are few direct comparisons between different types of intervention. - Simple behavioural interventions are widely used as standard first-line treatment, but they require a high level of parental involvement. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of any particular intervention. - The use of alarms has been shown to reduce night-time bedwetting both during treatment and after treatment stops. Before embarking on alarm treatment, families need to be made aware of both the time and the high level of parental involvement necessary to attain success. - Drug therapy such as desmopressin reduces the number of wet nights per week compared with placebo, but only for as long as the drug is used. Drugs could be used to reduce bedwetting for a specific purpose, such as nights away from home. Children and their families need to be warned about possible side effects of some of the drugs.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2003
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Child
  • Enuresis
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.