Biofeedback For Pediatric GU Patients
The term “biofeedback” describes a treatment process that uses electronics to measure, record, and display (or feedback) information about a body process. The child is first taught about a body response, such as muscle tension. She then observes her own body’s muscles as they contract and relax, and then learns to control these on her own. The muscles measured will be those used for urine flow and bladder emptying.
The purpose of learning biofeedback is to better understand how the body works and how to control it in a healthy way. Biofeedback is done with computer sensors attached to the skin. The computer provides information through different displays that the child can see and hear. The child chooses the display methods or “feedback” she likes and that are most helpful to her. The child can practice the way she would learn to play a new video game, and use the feedback to learn how to control the muscles.
When the child’s muscles are tight, the readings will be higher, and when the child’s muscles are relaxed, the readings will go down.
What is involved in the training session?
Special stickers will be placed on the child’s buttocks to record muscle action on a computer screen. The child is fully clothed, and will sit in a reclined chair. This should help the child to relax. The child will be asked to urinate into a special machine called a uroflow. This machine records how much and how fast urine is produced. Sticky patches are placed on the child’s bottom to measure sphincter muscle action while urinating. After, an ultrasound probe is gently placed on the skin above the bladder to see how much urine is left.
How long does the process take?
Once a child knows how her body works, teaching her to control it can be learned quickly. In most cases, the basic techniques can be learned in 6 to 10 sessions. But, just like learning any new skill, biofeedback techniques must be practiced often until they become routine. The more a child can practice these skills, the better she will become at using them with ease, and the more success she will have.
How can parents help?
Parents are very key as coaches at home. Parents may help the child track her progress on a chart and help her with homework tasks. Giving your child support is very important.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/06/2010
Copyright © 05/06/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6322
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