Anders Breinbjerg

Does the development and use of modern disposable diapers affect bladder control? A systematic review

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INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: During the last decades, the development of the modern disposable diaper (DD) has changed the way we diaper our children, as they are safe, easy to use, comfortable and easy to dispose, compared to cloth diapers used earlier. Concurrently, the age of initiating toilet training (TT) is rising. We aimed to investigate the connection between DD usage and the tendencies seen in TT and childhood urinary incontinence, with specific interest on studies evaluating the effect of diapering on enuresis.

STUDY DESIGN: A literature search was conducted in PubMed and Embase. A systematic literature search was conducted, revealing 309 studies in Embase and 269 studies in Pubmed. After removing duplicates, 400 studies were eligible for screening. All abstracts were screened, and 12 relevant abstracts where identified, but only eight studies were eligible. No prospective intervention studies specifically evaluating the effect of diaper on enuresis were identified. Literature on TT and diapers in general was identified using the respective search terms on both databases.

RESULTS: The eight studies identified showed a tendency towards diaper use being related to a delay on obtaining continence in children, but no secure conclusions can be made, as the literature is inadequate.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Based on the available literature no secure conclusions can be drawn although an association is suggested. In order to evaluate the effect of diapers on incontinence, prospective randomized studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Absorbent pads, Daytime urinary incontinence, Diapers, Enuresis, Infant, Toilet training

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