The efficacy of standard urotherapy in the treatment of nocturnal enuresis in children: A systematic review

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INTRODUCTION: Standard urotherapy in children with nocturnal enuresis (NE) is first-line treatment according to the current International Children's Continence Society (ICCS) guidelines. ICCS defines standard urotherapy as information and demystification, instruction in how to resolve lower urinary tract dysfunction, lifestyle advice, registration of symptoms and voiding habits, and support and encouragement. These interventions often are time consuming and some aspects of urotherapy, such as fluid restrictions, can be a frustrating process for a child, which emphasizes the importance of clarifying their relevance. The purpose of this review is to perform a systematic search in literature to evaluate the use of standard urotherapy in the treatment of children with primary NE (PNE).

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, Embase, and CENTRAL based on the key concepts of standard urotherapy and NE. We identified 2,476 studies. After a systematic selection process using the Covidence tool, 39 studies were included. The quality of the studies was assessed by the QualSyst Checklist. Our protocol adheres to the PRISMA statement and was registered in PROSPERO database (CRD42020185611).

RESULTS: Most of the 39 included studies scored low in quality. All studies combined several urotherapy interventions and studied different study populations. Twenty-two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included, which reported 0-92% of children being dry after urotherapy treatment. Three RCTs, all individualizing and optimizing drinking and voiding during the day and practicing optimal toilet posture, scored higher in quality based on the QualSyst score, and reported few children experiencing complete resolution of NE (5-33%). Eight studies compared the efficacy of urotherapy to a control group, however, conflicting results were found.

DISCUSSION: This systematic review presents available literature in the field of standard urotherapy in the treatment of children with PNE. One possible explanation for low efficacy rates of urotherapy in NE is the large heterogeneity of the study populations and interventions. Additionally, the intervention period and the intensity of intervention can have an impact on the outcome.

CONCLUSION: The number of clinical studies on standard urotherapy in children with NE is limited and many of them are of poor quality. High quality research in a well-defined NE population is needed to establish the role of standard urotherapy in first-line treatment of children with NE or as an add-on to other first line treatments. We conclude that at present there is insufficient evidence for recommending standard urotherapy to children with PNE as a first line treatment modality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

    Research areas

  • Children, Efficacy, Nocturnal enuresis, Standard urotherapy

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