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Use of urine alarms in toilet training children with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A review

TitleUse of urine alarms in toilet training children with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLevato, LE, Aponte, CA, Wilkins, J, Travis, R, Aiello, R, Zanibbi, K, Loring, WA, Butter, E, Smith, T, Mruzek, DW
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume53
Pagination232–241
Summary

Lead Author
Lynne E. Lovato

Study Aims and Objectives
To describe and evaluate the existing research on the use of urine alarms in the daytime toilet training of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
A review of scientific literature was performed using search engines and databases such as Google Scholar, PsycINFO, PubMed, and EducationFullText. In total, 35 papers were screened for relevance in terms of age (children 16 years of age or younger), disability of child, and use of urine alarms in toilet training. Urine alarms are sensors that make a loud noise upon getting wet. A final report was written using information from 12 papers. The researched paid particular attention to the research design, characteristics of the sample, previous treatments used, and outcomes.

Results – Main Finding(s)
Several papers with sound experimental setup including valid controls showed evidence for the use of urine alarms in toilet training. Furthermore, 11 of the 12 papers indicated some level of support for using the alarms. No evidence was found in the literature for an experiment that broke down the method used by researchers in the 1970s, which included the use of urine alarms alongside behavioral interventions, to test the need for each component.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
Urine alarms could be effective in helping to toilet training children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Future experiments should include looking at each component of the toilet training intervention (including urine alarms) that was originally recommended by researchers in the 1970s to determine the most effective and necessary components.

PubMed ID26942703