The burden of nocturnal enuresis

Acta Paediatr. 1997 Sep;86(9):981-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1997.tb15183.x.


Nocturnal enuresis is a well-known "low-severity high-prevalence" condition in paediatrics, with extensive psychosocial suffering. This suffering is not always realized by paediatricians and other professionals. The aim of this study is to show that enuresis not only has an impact on the child, but also frustrates the entire family. The literature shows that nocturnal enuresis causes distress and low self-esteem for the child. It also has major social and economic implications for the family, with an increasing intolerance as the child grows older. An analysis of nine studies on the impact of successful treatment on the psychological condition of enuretic children showed improved behaviour and personality scores. In five studies the improvement in mental health was significantly related to treatment success. Timely treatment will prevent psychosocial damage, favour a normal development of the child and bring practical relief to the family.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Enuresis / psychology*
  • Family Relations
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Personality Development
  • Self Concept
  • Shame