It’s not surprising that this experiment was conducted in Denmark because Danish researchers are no strangers to conducting bizarre, even unspeakable scientific studies on its citizens. For instance, in 2015 BBC News reporter Ellen Otzen (1) reported on a 1950s Danish experiment designed to create “model citizens.” Scientists extracted 21 children from their families in Greenland and raised them in Danish foster homes! The reporter interviewed some of the subjects, who are now in their 70s. She reports on the psychological damage the experiment caused.
A recent experiment published in the Journal of Urology (2) on Danish children studied a method to cure nighttime bedwetting with transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS). Here is the conclusion researchers in Denmark made, verbatim, “The present study demonstrates no anti-enuretic effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in children with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis without nocturnal polyuria. Nocturnal urine production and bladder capacity remained unchanged during and after treatment with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.” In other words, the children who participated in the experiment had no other problems except bedwetting. They also didn’t have multiple episodes of wetting at night. And the researchers concluded that using TENS did not stop any of the children from wetting the bed.
To be fair to Danish scientists, TENS has been evaluated as a possible treatment for many conditions including diabetic nerve pain (3) and has been studied as a camparison treatment for other conditions, including acupuncture (4). TENS is not a dangerous treatment. In fact, many studies show that is doesn’t really have an effect either way on conditions or other treatments. But it does have some therapeutic value. TENS is simply a painless electric current applied to the skin and it is commonly used by healthcare practitioners for the treatment of pain (5).
In another study of bedwetting published in the Pediatric Journal of Urology (6), researchers studied children who wet the bed and had other symptoms as well. TENS was applied to the base of the spine 3 times a week for 6 weeks and researchers reported that bedwetting resolved in less than half (42%) of the cases. They concluded that TENS “can be an effective treatment for NMNE, but about a third of patients will need another kind of treatment.”
The best and most effective solutions to resolve childhood bedwetting are realized through a combination of education and behavior modification (7). It’s important that parents become educated on what to do and many times what to STOP doing to try to correct bedwetting. It’s also critical to objectively understand from the child’s perspective and to provide an individualized behavioral training plan that will work for their child. Every child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. This is why many parents find that bedwetting alarms are ineffective. Finally, it’s paramount to immediately respond to and take corrective actions during training. Knowing what to do at each stage of correction will help ensure a permanent end to the bedwetting. There’s an old joke about the man who brought his car to the mechanic. The mechanic lifted the hood and fixed the car with one swing of a hammer and charged the man $600. The man complained, but all you did was hit it with a hammer! And the mechanic replied, “Yes, it’s $1 for hitting it with the hammer and $599 for knowing where to hit.” He never had a problem with his car again.
Bedwetting can be tricky to fix sometimes. It’s easy to get frustrated and knowing exactly what to do and when to do it isn’t always clear. This is why Dry Kid Academy uses a research-based approach to correcting bedwetting that works for most kids in about 90 days but if you’re child takes a little longer, it’s okay because Dry Kid Academy stays with you until dryness is achieved.
7. WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on March 22, 2016