Hong Kong Journal of Paediatrics

Volume 9 Number 1, January 2004
Abstract

Primary Nocturnal Enuresis: Patient Attitudes and Parental Perceptions

CFN NG, SN WONG, for Hong Kong Childhood Enuresis Study Group*

Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE) is a common childhood problem. Knowledge of the child's attitudes and his parents' perceptions to enuresis will help in effective counselling of the family and improve their commitment to therapy, which contributes to the success of treatment. In a prospective questionnaire survey by the Hong Kong Childhood Enuresis Study Group, 105 Chinese children aged 9.51.8 years (68 boys, 37 girls) with severe PNE were recruited from nine public hospitals in Hong Kong. After informed consent, both patients and parents were interviewed by the attending doctor according to a structured questionnaire. The results showed that bedwetting embarrassed our enuretic children as they avoided talking about bedwetting problem (89.5%), avoided sleeping out (25.7%) and denied having wetting episodes (18.1%). The majority of parents (86%) thought that PNE was abnormal and was caused by renal, psychological, or brain problems. Arousal difficulties occurred in 88% of the children. Parents felt troublesome (71.4%), angry (19%), and ashamed (11.4%) of their children. Although 77% of the parent praised their children for being dry, 57% still punished their children for enuretic episodes. In conclusion, Hong Kong children with PNE were embarrassed by bedwetting while their parents had mixed-feeling of being worried (about organic illness), troublesome, angry and ashamed. A punitive attitude was still common in our local community and this may adversely affect the parent-child relationship and their commitment to treatment. (HK J Paediatr (new series) 2004;9:54-58)

Key words : Attitudes; Children; Chinese; Enuresis; Perceptions



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