Discontinuing absorbent pants in children with bedwetting: a randomized controlled trial

Breinbjerg A., Kamperis K., Thorsteinsson K., Jørgensen C. S., Dossche L., Rayner J., ...More

European Journal of Pediatrics, vol.183, no.5, pp.2443-2453, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 183 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00431-024-05502-w
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Pediatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2443-2453
  • Keywords: Diaper, Nappies, Nappy, Nocturnal enuresis, Toilet training
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The objective of this study is to examine the effect of discontinuing wearing protective garments (absorbent pyjama pants — APP) in children with severe childhood nocturnal enuresis (NE). The study employs a multicenter, parallel, randomized controlled trial. Following a 4-week run-in period, participants were randomly allocated in a 2:1 group allocation to discontinue or continue using APP. The research was conducted across seven European pediatric incontinence centers. The study included treatment-naïve children aged 4–8 years with severe (7/7 wet nights per week) mono-symptomatic NE, who had used nighttime protection for at least 6 months prior to the study. The study consisted of a 4-week run-in period (± 7 days), where all children slept wearing APP (DryNites®). At week 4 (± 7 days), if meeting randomization criteria (7/7 wet nights during the last week of run-in), participants were randomized to continue to sleep in APP or to discontinue their use for a further 4 weeks, with the option of another 4 weeks in the extension period. The primary outcome was the difference between groups of wet nights during the last week of intervention. Quality of life (QoL) and sleep were secondary endpoints. In total, 105 children (43 girls and 62 boys, mean age 5.6 years [SD 1.13]) were randomized (no-pants group n = 70, pants group n = 35). Fifteen children (21%) in the no-pants group discontinued early due to stress related to the intervention. Children in the no-pants group experienced fewer wet nights compared to the pants group during the last week (difference 2.3 nights, 95% CI 1.54–3.08; p < 0.0001). In the no-pants group, 20% responded to the intervention, of whom 13% had a full response. Clinical improvement was detected within 2 weeks. Sleep and QoL were reported as negatively affected by APP discontinuation in the extension period but not in the core period. Conclusion: A ~ 10% complete resolution rate was associated with discontinuing APP. While statistically significant, the clinical relevance is debatable, and the intervention should be tried only if the family is motivated. Response was detectable within 2 weeks. Discontinuing APP for 4–8 weeks was reported to negatively affect QoL and sleep quality. No severe side effects were seen. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT04620356; date registered: September 23, 2020. Registered under the name: “Effect of Use of DryNites Absorbent Pyjama Pants on the Rate of Spontaneous Resolution of Paediatric Nocturnal Enuresis (NE).”