East Asian Arch Psychiatry 2017;27:38


Wetting in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers
Soiling in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers

Author: Alexander von Gontard
Hogrefe Publishing
US$12.80; pp82; ISBN: 978-0-88937-487-4

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Elimination disorders are common in children and adolescents. The prevalence of enuresis is 5%-10% among 5-year-olds, 3%-5% among 10-year-olds, and around 1% among individuals ≥ 15 years.1 It is estimated that 1% of 5-year-olds have encopresis, and the disorder is more common in males than in females.1 Despite being prevalent, these disorders are often shrouded with prejudice and misinformation is widespread among parents, teachers, therapists, and even doctors. Many parents are often left alone with this plight and do not dare to even discuss it with other parents. Only their child seems to have these problems. Elimination disorders may not be common in daily child psychiatric practice. Even if they are, the attending psychiatrist may feel incompetent to deal with them or may erroneously regard them as just part of an underlying psychological disturbance and by themselves require no specific treatment.

These 2 guidebooks are companion editions and form a complete guide to help children with soiling and / or wetting. This guide was first published in German in 2010 and has received positive feedback from many readers. As there are no comparable guidebooks in the English language, it has been updated and translated into English for parents all over the world. The aim of the guide is to provide information about different types of wetting and soiling and their causes as well as how to assess and treat them effectively. The information is organised logically and explained as simply as possible. Everyday terms are used throughout the books as they mainly target parents although they may also be useful for teachers, educators, caregivers, as well as older children and adolescents. For professionals with basic scientific knowledge about elimination disorders, there are also useful updates and innovative aspects that may not be found in standard general psychiatric texts. The layout is similar in each book. They start with a ‘How should I use this guide?’ section outlining the overall contents of the book and advice about which part is of relevance to readers for a particular problem. It is followed by a chapter on ‘General information’ that provides a brief overview of soiling / wetting followed by chapters that cover each type of wetting or soiling in greater detail. The books end with a number of appendices that include questionnaires and charts that therapists will find useful, both in assessment and progress monitoring.

The 2 books are good for health care workers, parents, and other informal caregivers who want to know more about common but relatively obscured elimination disorders. They are easy to read and offer a quick reference guide to a comprehensive range of elimination problems in children and adolescents with case illustrations, as well as assessment and management plans.

SM Lam, MRCPsych, FHKAM (Psychiatry) (email: lamsm@ha.org.hk)
Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Castle Peak Hospital
Hong Kong SAR, China


  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
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