incontinenceIt’s a rare condition in which urination occurs during laughing. Researchers from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, in New York studied the value of biofeedback in a small group of children.

First, the details.

  • The medical records of 12 children with giggle incontinence were reviewed for incontinence severity, voiding patterns, associated symptoms, and medical history including prior treatment.
  • They were taught Kegel (KAY-gul or KEY-gul) exercises and instructed to perform them at home between sessions.

And, the results.

  • 1 child had a partial response to first line therapy with timed voiding and bowel management.
  • 7 children were treated with anticholinergic drugs and/or pseudoephedrine with a partial response in 3.
  • The 9 children with giggle incontinence that didn’t respond to therapy underwent biofeedback for 2 to 8 sessions.
  • The 6 patients who underwent 4 or more sessions had a full response that lasted at least 6 months, and the 3 with fewer than 4 sessions had a partial response.

The bottom line?
In this study, treatment with education and drugs only led to a partial response in some cases. Biofeedback supplemented this treatment or avoided adding drugs when at least 4 sessions were performed.

The authors concluded, “Biofeedback therapy should be incorporated in the treatment algorithm for giggle incontinence in children, and it should be considered before pharmacotherapy.”

It’s a rare condition with few studies.

Last year, researchers from Poland reported that based on their experience in 1 child with giggle incontinence, “Pelvic muscle exercises with biofeedback technique are a promising additional mode of treatment for children with voiding disorders.”

Researchers in Spain have reported that in a group of 34 children that included 3 with giggle incontinence, pelvic floor muscles training with biofeedback is a simple and effective method… [and] should be used… [with] other therapies.

11/1/09 20:31 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.