The overlooked association between lower urinary tract dysfunction and psychiatric disorders: a short screening test for clinical practice.


Department of Pediatric Surgery, Koç University, School of Medicine, Topkapı, Maltepe, 34010, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) often presents with other associated comorbidities such as urinary tract infections, constipation, fecal incontinence, and vesicoureteral reflux. However, the psychiatric conditions that can be associated with LUTD tend to go unnoticed. The evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of LUTD and psychiatric disorders in children are difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, there is currently no accepted consensus on this subject.
OBJECTIVE : In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the relationship between the subgroups of both LUTD and psychiatric disorders.
METHODS : LUTD were divided into 4 groups by using voiding dysfunction symptom score (VDSS), bladder diary, and uroflowmetry/electromyography (UF/EMG) test. A short screening test for psychological problems was used to detect psychiatric disorders accompanying each LUTD group. In terms of psychiatric disorders, the patients were divided into two groups: externalizing and internalizing disorders.
RESULTS : A total of 156 children were diagnosed with LUTD. Seventy-six patients had overactive bladder (OAB), 53 had dysfunctional voiding (DV), 14 had primary bladder neck dysfunction (PBND), and 13 had underactive bladder (UAB). Psychiatric disorder was detected in 46 children (29.4%). Of these, 32 had an externalizing and 14 had an internalizing disorder. In terms of age, externalizing disorders were more common in children aged between 6 and 11 years (87.5%), whereas internalizing disorders were seen equally in both age groups. Among these, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was the most common psychiatric disorder (16.1%). The LUTD groups with the most frequent psychiatric disorders were UAB (53.8%), PBND (35.7%), and OAB (28.9%).
CONCLUSIONS : Most of the studies investigating the relationship between the lower urinary tract and psychiatric disorders so far have been concerned with the lower urinary tract symptom (LUTS) (such as nighttime or daytime incontinence) and ADHD. However, the present study was performed according to the LUTD classification, which is primarily based on VDSS, bladder diary, and UF/EMG tests. Furthermore, psychiatric disorders were classified into their subgroups. The results have shown that around a quarter of children with LUTD also had comorbid psychiatric disorders. The relationship between LUTD and psychiatric disorders constitutes a critical point. Identifying this association can contribute to the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for these patients.
CONCLUSIONS : LUTD and psychiatric disorders can be seen together, and this can be detected by the short screening test for psychological problems. Therefore, the authors think that patients who applied with LUTS should undergo this short test along with the routine urinary system examination and tests.


Child,LUTD,Psychiatric disorder,Subgroups,