Nigerian parents can harbour harmful views about the causes and treatment of childhood enuresis that result in child abuse

Esezobor, C.I. ; Balogun, M.R. (2016)

Staff publications


ABSTRACT Aim: The aim of this study was to determine Nigerian parents’ views about the causes and treatment of childhood enuresis. Methods: Parents of children aged 5–17 years were individually interviewed in an urban community in Nigeria using a pretested questionnaire. Their responses about the causes and treatment of enuresis were grouped under common themes. Results: We included 448 respondents in the study: 75.5% were mothers, 44.2% had at least one child with enuresis and only 1.3% had spoken to a doctor about it. Enuresis was thought to be due to playing too much and drinking too much fluid at night by 69.7% and 21.2% of the respondents, respectively. The two most common treatment methods that parents were aware of for enuresis were waking to void (23.7%) and urinating on hot charcoal (20.8%). The most common methods that parents actually employed included waking to void (49.0%), punishing the child (36.9%) and doing nothing (28.8%). Conclusion: Most of the respondents believed that playing too much and drinking or eating too much were responsible for childhood enuresis. Parents rarely discussed childhood enuresis with their doctors and some of the self-help measures that were employed may be harmful and could constitute child abuse.