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Effects of enuresis nocturna on parents of affected children: Case-control study

By M.H. Tanriverdi, Y.D.L.D.L. Palanci, A. Yilmaz, N. Penbegül, Y. Bez, and M. Daǧgülli.

Pediatrics International, Volume 56, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages 254-257

Editor’s comments:

Even though this is a small study, it emphasises the fact that caregivers should understand parents and why they consult and ask for eventual treatment.  Nocturnal enuresis of a child does not influence just the quality of life of the child, but also the parents.


Enuresis nocturna (EN) is a chronic medical disorder that may cause a parent to question their parenting ability and contribute to an inability to perform the parental role. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of EN on the relationship between parents, and the effect of mood changes in the couples on the children.

Forty children with EN (group 1) were enrolled in the study, and 44 consecutive healthy children (group 2) were randomly selected from the same school. The clinical diagnosis for the patient group was based on a careful history. Spielberg's State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) were applied to all parents, and the answers were recorded.

STAI scores differed between the mothers in the two groups in terms of trait anxiety, while significant differences between the fathers in terms of both state and trait anxiety were observed. The BDI scores were similar between the two groups. The scores of dyadic consensus were lower in the mothers, while the affectional expression scores were lower in the EN study group fathers compared with controls. The total DAS scores were significantly lower in the parents of the children with EN.

The parents of children with EN seem to experience increased levels of anxiety. Their desire to continue the marital relationship, the overall quality of their marital relationship and their comfort as a family may also be negatively affected by having a child with EN.


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