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April 21, 1975

Treatment of Bedwetting

Author Affiliations

From the Child Psychiatry Service of the State Psychopathic Hospital, University of Iowa School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1975;232(3):281-283. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250030037020

A CONTEMPORARY expert might suggest three forms of treatment for the rascal: advice and encouragement, prescribing antidepressants, or conditioning with an alarm system. The three methods are reviewed in this communication, together with the evidence for their effectiveness.

The first method is old and tried, but few data are available on its success; the use of antidepressants has been subjected to rigorous and well-controlled study; and while conditioning does not lend itself to controlled research, careful reports exist on its use that can be compared to the results of other approaches. These are the treatments most often used in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, but several others must be mentioned: bladder training, surgery, psychotherapy, and other drug regimens.

The functional capacity of an enuretic child's bladder is smaller, on the average, than that of a normal child, and becoming "dry" may be associated with an increased capacity.1-3 The