Website helps doctors diagnose and treat bedwetting

Elsevier’s free Bedwetting Resource Centre provides research, guidance and tools

Dr. Guy Bogaert, Editor of Elsevier’s BedwettingResource Centre, looks at the problem of bedwetting, what clinicians needin order to treat it and how this resource can help them.

Guy Bogaert, MD, PhDBedwetting has a big impact on hundredsof millions of children and adults worldwide. But it can be treated, andElsevier’s BedwettingResource Centre aims to give clinicians the latest top research on thetopic, along with guidelines, lectures and practical tools, to help them tacklethe condition.

Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is amedical condition that affects not only children but adolescents andadults. It is the uncontrollable leakage of urine while sleeping in peopleage 5 and over. It’s a common condition that affects up to 10 percent of 7-year-olds, potentially causing problems into adulthood.

There is no psychological cause behindbedwetting; in most people with the condition it is cause by an overproductionof urine at night, or because the bladder has a reduced capacity. Although itscause isn’t psychological, bedwetting can have significant self-esteem andemotional impacts.

Diagnosing and treating bedwetting

For doctors, one of the first things todetermine when diagnosing a child who wets the bed iswhether the bedwetting is accompanied by daytime symptoms. In mostcases, bedwetting that occurs only at night runs in the family.

Bedwetting is a medical condition with physical causes that doctors can diagnose and treat, including by looking at what’s going on inside the body with a urography scan.With a history of the patient and anexamination, doctors can diagnose bedwetting accurately. For about 15 percent ofpatients, the bedwetting will resolve itself. However, for the majority ofpatients, the condition is treated by changing their drinking habits, replacinga hormone that reduces urine production (desmopressin) or taking a nighttimemedication. Urination or enuresis alarms can also be used to wake the patientand prevent bedwetting.

These treatments may be effective, butthey are not "easy fixes." For urologists, treating bedwetting requires adifferent approach than other urological conditions. It's important to involve the patient and his or her family in discussions and decisions abouttreatment. Bedwetting can have a significant impact on quality of life – for patients and their families – and involvement in treatment is a good predictorthat the treatment will be successful.

Elsevier’s Bedwetting Resource Centre

Urologists and other clinicians needthe knowledge, tools and resources to keep up-to-date with the best diagnosisand treatment approaches for tackling bedwetting. The Bedwetting ResourceCentre, made possible by an educational grant from Ferring, gives clinicians the support theyneed to help bedwetting patients.

The site, which is free to access, hasa section for the latestand best research, which I select from a range of journals. Topics include:

  • Treatments like desmopressin and alarm treatment
  • Quality of life and secondaryeffects on the patient and family
  • The impact of bedwetting on sleep
  • Bedwetting and the brain.

I select the research and comment on eacharticle explaining its significance. The Resource Centre also has presentation slides on different topics and a video channel with lecturesand interviews.

Practical resources also helpclinicians diagnose and treat bedwetting. The Guidelines section links toguidance for managing bedwetting, and the Clinical Management Tool (CMT) givesdoctors a simple framework for diagnosing bedwetting. Developed by the Working Group ofNocturnal Enuresis Belgium (which has websites in Dutch and French), the CMT is a scorecard designed to helpdoctors determine whether bedwetting occurs only at night. It takesabout five minutes for the patient or his or her parents to complete and makesdiagnosis much easier.

With the Resource Centre, we aim to tackle bedwetting by arming clinicians with the latestpeer-reviewed research, tools and guidance for diagnosing and treating thecondition. You can get the latest research on bedwetting by signing up for free E-Alerts fromthe Resource Centre or following iton Twitter.

Features of the Bedwetting Resource Centre

  • Guidelines – the latest guidance for managing bedwetting
  • Publications – curated and commented on by the Editor
  • Slides – presentations on a variety of topics
  • Video     Channel – a selection of lectures and videos
  • Clinical     Management Tool – a simple tool to help doctors diagnose bedwetting
  • Congress     Planner – a calendar of upcoming urology conferences

Bedwetting logo

The Resource Centre’s best-read articleon bedwetting

For World Bedwetting Day, theBedwetting Resource Centre shared its best-read article on social media. Hereis a summary, with a comment from the Editor.

Jonathan Kushnir et al: “Nightdiapers use and sleep in children with enuresis,” Sleep Medicine (July 2013)

“This is a very interesting studylooking at the sleep pattern of children with nocturnal enuresis wearing adiaper or not during the night … Children with nocturnal enuresis, wearingdiapers and control children showed no differences in sleep measures. Theauthors therefore recommend children with nocturnal enuresis to sleep wearingdiapers, based on the positive impact on the sleep.”

Read the articleand Editor’sfull comment.

Elsevier Connect Contributor

Dr. Guy Bogaert is University Professor - Urology and Chief of Paediatric Urology at the University of Leuven (KUL)in Leuven, Belgium. He is also Medical Manager-Medical Director of the Ambulatory SurgeryCenter at University Hospitals Gasthuisberg in Leuven. As Editor of Elsevier’s BedwettingResource Centre, he selects the research for the platform and puts it into context with his Editor's comments.

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