Improving continence for children with neurodisability (ICoN)

Lead Applicant: Chris Morris MSc DPhil, Associate Professor in Child Health Research & Director of Postgraduate Research, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter

Funding: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme

Acquisition of continence is an important milestone in child development, involving planning, recognition of sensation, regulation, control, urinating and defecating in an appropriate place and cleaning afterwards. Children with neurodisability, often referred to as children with special educational needs and disability, have a higher incidence of delayed acquisition of continence and of incontinence compared to other children. Children with neurodisability may be slower to learn to manage going to the toilet, or they may need extra help. Many children can become continent with training. Various things can influence if and when toilet training commences.

The overarching research question is: what is the available evidence for interventions relating to improving continence for children and young people with neurodisability? We will consider any approaches taken to assess and promote continence for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities up to age 25 years, consistent with existing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) legislation.