Incontinence in Individuals with Rett Syndrome: A Comparative Study

Sanne Giesbers, Robert Didden*, Maartje Radstaake, Hubert Korzilius, Alexander von Gontard, Russell Lang, Eric Smeets, Leopold M. G. Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

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Frequency and type of incontinence and its association with other variables were assessed in females with Rett Syndrome (RS) ( = 63), using an adapted Dutch version of the 'Parental Questionnaire: Enuresis/Urinary Incontinence' (Beetz et al. 1994). Also, incontinence in RS was compared to a control group consisting of females with non-specific (mixed) intellectual disability ( = 26). Urinary incontinence (UI) (i.e., daytime incontinence and nocturnal enuresis) and faecal incontinence (FI) were found to be common problems among females with RS that occur in a high frequency of days/nights. UI and FI were mostly primary in nature and occur independent of participants' age and level of adaptive functioning. Solid stool, lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary tract infections (UTI's) were also common problems in females with RS. No differences in incontinence between RS and the control group were found, except for solid stool that was more common in RS than in the control group. It is concluded that incontinence is not part of the behavioural phenotype of RS, but that there is an increased risk for solid stool in females with RS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-300
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Rett syndrome
  • Incontinence
  • Comparative study

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