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Parental beliefs about nocturnal enuresis causes, treatments, and the need to seek professional medical care



To better understand parental beliefs regarding the etiology and treatment of nocturnal enuresis (NE).


A self-administered survey queried parental NE beliefs including perceived etiologies and home behavioral treatments. We assessed for associations between demographic characteristics and propensity to seek medical care for NE.


Of 216 respondents, 78% were female. The most common causes for NE reported were: deep sleeper (56%), unknown (39%), and laziness (26%). Popular home behavioral therapies included: void prior to sleep (77%) and limiting fluid intake at night (71%). Few reported they would use a bedwetting alarm (6%). Fifty-five percent reported they would seek medical care for NE and 28% reported awareness of effective treatments. On multivariable analysis, females (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.04-5.0) and those with graduate level education (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.5-15.7) were more likely to seek medical care for their child with NE.


General parental knowledge of the causes and effective treatments for NE is lacking. Only 55% reported they would seek medical care for their child with NE and only 28% reported awareness of effective treatments. Counseling should focus on dispelling common misconceptions about causes and treatments of NE and focus on proven effective treatments.

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