Nocturnal enuresis in Turkey: prevalence and accompanying factors in different socioeconomic environments

Kursat B Carman, Omer Ceran, Cevdet Kaya, Cagatay Nuhoglu, M Ihsan Karaman
Urologia Internationalis 2008, 80 (4): 362-6

AIM: To study the prevalence of nocturnal enuresis and the impact of associated familial factors in Turkish children with a different socioeconomic status.

METHODS: A specific questionnaire was distributed to 3,000 parents of primary school children (6-12 years old). Of these children, 1,500 attended primary schools in Umraniye, a suburban region of Istanbul (group 1), and the other 1,500 children visited schools in Suadiye, a well-developed part of Istanbul (group 2). The first part of the survey investigated the familial conditions of the children (financial status, family history of enuresis, and family size). The second part of the questionnaire surveyed the demographic and physical characteristics of the children. The last part was designed to investigate the opinions and beliefs of the parents about nocturnal enuresis and treatment modalities. The prevalence rates of nocturnal enuresis and associated familial factors of these children from two different regions of Istanbul were compared.

RESULTS: Of the 3,000 questionnaires distributed, 2,589 (86.3%) were returned and included in the final analysis. The mean age of group 1 and 2 children was 8.88 +/- 1.4 and 8.9 +/- 1.5 years, respectively (p > 0.05). The gender of the subjects was equally distributed (48.6% males and 51.4% females). Enuresis was present in 334 children (25.5%) of group 1 and in 205 children (16%) of group 2. Enuresis was significantly more common in group 1 (p < 0.01). The families consisted of 4.69 +/- 1.4 and 4.1 +/- 1.1 persons, respectively (p < 0.01). A yearly income of USD 7,000 was achieved in group 2 by 54%, in group 1 by only 0.7% (p < 0.01). Only 26 children of group 1 (7.8%) and 22 children of group 2 (10.8%) were noted to receive medical enuresis treatments, with no statistically significant difference between the groups (p > 0.01). The parents of the enuretic children from the suburban region of Istanbul were found to consider the condition a normal developmental entity. They believed that enuresis will resolve spontaneously and that no treatment is necessary. On the contrary, the parents of the enuretic children in the well-developed region of the city believed that enuresis is a psychological problem and that intensive psychological assistance is essential for the management.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that the prevalence of nocturnal enuresis in Turkey is comparable to that reported in the literature. The parents consider that enuresis nocturna is not a fatal disorder, that the drugs used in the treatment may be harmful, and that no medical assistance is required. Trained health personnel and physicians should inform the parents about enuresis in order to prevent possible behavioral and self-esteem problems.

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