JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Conservative interventions for treating functional daytime urinary incontinence in children.

BACKGROUND: In children, functional daytime urinary incontinence is the term used to describe any leakage of urine while awake that is not the result of a known underlying neurological or congenital anatomic cause (such as conditions or injuries that affect the nerves that control the bladder or problems with the way the urinary system is formed). It can result in practical difficulties for both the child and their family and can have detrimental effects on a child's well-being, education and social engagement.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of conservative interventions for treating functional daytime urinary incontinence in children.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Specialised Register, which contains studies identified from CENTRAL, MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, MEDLINE Epub Ahead of Print, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO ICTRP and handsearching of journals and conference proceedings (searched 11 September 2018). We also searched Chinese language bibliographic databases: Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang. No language restrictions were imposed.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomised, multi-arm studies, cross-over studies and cluster-randomised studies that included children aged between 5 and 18 years with functional daytime urinary incontinence.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened records and determined the eligibility of studies for inclusion according to predefined criteria. Where data from the study were not provided, we contacted the study authors to request further information. Two review authors assessed risk of bias and processed included study data as described in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Where meta-analysis was possible, we applied random-effects meta-analysis using the Mantel-Haenszel method for dichotomous outcomes.

MAIN RESULTS: The review included 27 RCTs involving 1803 children. Of these, six were multi-arm and one was also a cross-over study. Most studies were small, with numbers randomised ranging from 16 to 202. A total of 19 studies were at high risk of bias for at least one domain. Few studies reported data suitable for pooling due to heterogeneity in interventions, outcomes and measurements.Individual conservative interventions (lifestyle, behavioural or physical) versus no treatmentTranscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) versus sham (placebo) TENS. More children receiving active TENS may achieve continence (risk ratio (RR) 4.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.68 to 14.21; 3 studies; n = 93; low-certainty evidence).One individual conservative intervention versus another individual or combined conservative interventionPelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) with urotherapy versus urotherapy alone. We are uncertain whether more children receiving PFMT with urotherapy achieve continence (RR 2.36, 95% CI 0.65 to 8.53, 95% CI 25 to 100; 3 studies; n = 91; very low-certainty evidence).Voiding education with uroflowmetry feedback and urotherapy versus urotherapy alone. Slightly more children receiving voiding education with uroflow feedback and urotherapy may achieve continence (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.45; 3 studies; n = 151; low-certainty evidence).Urotherapy with timer watch versus urotherapy alone. We are uncertain whether urotherapy plus timer watch increases the number of children achieving continence compared to urotherapy alone (RR 1.42, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.80; 1 study; n = 58; very low-certainty evidence).Combined conservative interventions versus other combined conservative interventionsTENS and standard urotherapy versus PFMT with electromyographic biofeedback and standard urotherapy. We are uncertain whether there is any evidence of a difference between treatment groups in the proportions of children achieving continence (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.68; 1 study; n = 78; very low-certainty evidence).PFMT with electromyography biofeedback and standard urotherapy versus PFMT without feedback but with standard urotherapy. We are uncertain whether there is any evidence of a difference between treatment groups in the proportions of children achieving continence (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.52; 1 study; n = 41; very low-certainty evidence).Individual conservative interventions versus non-conservative interventions (pharmacological or invasive, combined or not with any conservative interventions)PFMT versus anticholinergics. We are uncertain whether more children receiving PFMT than anticholinergics achieve continence (RR 1.92, 95% CI 1.17 to 3.15; equivalent to an increase from 33 to 64 per 100 children; 2 studies; n = 86; very low-certainty evidence).TENS versus anticholinergics. We are uncertain whether there was any evidence of a difference between treatment groups in the proportions of children achieving continence (RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.05 to 12.50; 2 studies; n = 72; very low-certainty evidence).Combined conservative interventions versus non-conservative interventions (pharmacological or invasive, combined or not with any conservative interventions)Voiding education with uroflowmetry feedback versus anticholinergics. We are uncertain whether there was any evidence of a difference between treatment groups in the proportion of children achieving continence (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.78; 1 study; n = 64; very low-certainty evidence).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The review found little reliable evidence that can help affected children, their carers and the clinicians working with them to make evidence-based treatment decisions. In this scenario, the clinical experience of individual clinicians and the support of carers may be the most valuable resources. More well-designed research, with well-defined interventions and consistent outcome measurement, is needed.

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