Recent Paruresis Research
There have been other related surveys, studies and research into the condition. The IPA quote results of a survey by the Australian based Global Internet Paruresis Survey which was conducted back in 2004.
This particular survey however was to examine the demographics of 264 adult paruretic males in the age bracket 18 – 80 diversely spread over 20 countries and the impact on their lives. The main finding of this study suggested that: “Over half those surveyed were unable to urinate successfully at public urinals, avoided public toilets, and believed paruresis affected the personal, social, or employment aspects of their lives.”
The other main studies in the 21st century have been as follows:
- The Paruresis Checklist (PCL; Soifer, Zgourides, Himle & Pickering, 2001).
- The Paruresis Scale (Hammelstein, Pietrowsky, Merbach, & Braehler, 2005).
- The Bashful Bladder Scale (Soifer et al., 2010)
- The Shy Bladder Scale (Deacon et al., 2012).
Each of the above however is associated with the assessment of the condition and severity of shy bladder syndrome rather than the accurate estimate of worldwide prevalence.
The Potential Impact Of Shy Bladder Syndrome
As with any social anxiety disorder the impact paruresis can have on lives is varied and substantial. There appear to be no specific proven data into the impact of shy bladder syndrome but there are official estimates:
The International Paruresis Association estimate that potentially thousands of sufferers have lost their jobs due to work related mandatory urine based drugs testing. The findings from a study by Vythilingum et al concluded the following:
- 38.1% of paruretics limited or avoided travel.
- 33.5% avoided parties, public / social events and dating.
- 15.9% reduced or avoided drinking fluids.
- 50.8% reportedly turned down job offers.
- 55.6% limit their occupation.
I should point out that this study involved only a small number (63) of participants.
Then there’s the knock on effect of the condition. It’s estimated that over 20% of paruretics experience major depressive episodes and a high percentage also report alcohol abuse or dependence.
The Prevalence Of Shy Bladder Syndrome – My Conclusion
Paruresis has now been widely recognised as an official condition and is catered for in many situations. Historical studies into the worldwide prevalence of the condition have reported significant differences. A global estimate of around 7% is most commonly quoted but appears without true substance.
I suggest that there’s room for new studies into the worldwide prevalence, recognition and impact on lives of Paruresis shy bladder syndrome. I would therefore urge the powers that be to facilitate this.