Urinary incontinence and quality of life in children

J Pediatr Urol. 2013 Feb;9(1):78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2011.12.005. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Objective: Urinary incontinence (UI) negatively affects children's quality of life (QOL). It is not known if parents are reliable informants on impact and QOL nor if lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are related to QOL. We wished to determine the association between LUTS measured by the Dysfunctional Voiding Symptom Score (DVSS) and QOL measured by the Pediatric Urinary Incontinence QOL tool (PIN-Q), and to test the relationship between parent and patient's responses.

Subjects and method: Forty children (10 males, 30 females), aged 5-11 years with non-neurogenic daytime wetting, and their parents completed DVSS and PIN-Q as well as responding to open-ended questions about the effect of incontinence.

Results: Child DVSS: mean 12.6 (3 (very mild) to 21 (severe)); parent DVSS: mean 12.8 (3-20). Child PIN-Q: mean 37.6 (8 (no effect) to 70 (severe effect)); parent PIN-Q: mean 38.7 (15-61). Parents indicated a major effect of UI on family function and dynamics, as well as on the child.

Conclusions: UI has a major effect on the child and the family. The PIN-Q and DVSS are complementary and provide a clinically appropriate picture of LUTS and impact on QOL. Parents understood the effect of incontinence and could act as proxy for the child.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diurnal Enuresis / psychology*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires