Daytime urinary incontinence is disabling and occurs in 17% of school-aged children. Timed-voiding is part of standard therapy. Can an alarm watch to aid timed-voiding improve treatment response to standard therapy?


The WATCH (Watch with Alarm for Timed-Voiding in Children) study is a randomized controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to a vibrating alarm or nonalarming watch for 3-months. The primary outcome was the proportion who achieved a complete response (14 consecutive dry days) after 3-months of treatment. Children aged 5 to 13 years who were prescribed timed-voiding for daytime urinary incontinence.


Overall, 243 children, with a mean age of 8 years, were enrolled, with 62% girls. At 3-months, the complete response rates were similar between the 2 groups (22% alarm versus 17% control; difference: 5%; 95% confidence interval (CI): −5% to 16%; P = .42). In the alarm group, treatment adherence was higher (40% vs 10%; difference: 30%; 95% CI: 20% to 40%; P < .001), frequency of incontinence was lower (25% dry; 40% had 1–3 wet days per week, 24% had 4–6 wet days per week, and 12% had daily wetting, compared with 19%, 30%, 35%, and 16%, respectively; P =.05), and fewer had abnormal postvoid residual urine volumes (12% vs 24%; difference: −12%; 95% CI: −21% to −1%; P = .04) compared with the control group. Improvement was transient and did not persist 6 months beyond the treatment period.


Alarm watches do not appear to lead to complete resolution of urinary incontinence in children but did promote treatment adherence, normalization of postvoid residual volumes, and reduction in incontinent episodes while being used.

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