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Attention problems in children and bed wetting

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more prone to wetting the bed and other bowel and urinary tract problems, according to results of a recent study.

Attention problems in children and bed wetting

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more prone to wetting the bed and other bowel and urinary tract problems, according to results of a recent study. Children with ADHD have more difficulty than their peers in focusing their attention and controlling their behaviour. It is a biologically based disorder, which involves a pattern of decreased attention span interspersed with periods of hyperactivity and impulsivity. The researchers at the University of California surveyed 28 children with rigorously diagnosed ADHD and 23 age and sex-matched controls without ADHD. The average age of the children was 10. They found statistically significant differences in responses to 10 questions about urination and bowel problems. The children with ADHD were between two and three times more likely to report wetting the bed, painful or difficult urination, incontinence, urgency and constipation than children without the disorder. This study is the first to show that children with ADHD are more likely to have problems with controlling urination and having normal bowel movements. The researchers had the suspicion that children with ADHD had a lot more problems with bedwetting and daytime incontinence, but no study ever specifically addressed it. They also presented results from another study indicating that computerized biofeedback results in decreased bladder and bowel problems. Biofeedback, a technique in which a patient learns to control muscles involved in urination by responding to physiological cues, is an effective treatment for urination and bowel problems in children with ADHD. Biofeedback reduced daytime incontinence and bedwetting by about 54% and 42%, respectively. The researchers saw significant declines in urinary tract infections and constipation. This study adds to the fact that biofeedback should be the accepted treatment for bedwetting.

American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference October 2002
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