Munchausen by proxy: A case, chart series, and literature review of older victims

Title

Munchausen by proxy: A case, chart series, and literature review of older victims

Creator

Awadallah N; Vaughan A; Franco K; Munir F; Sharaby N; Goldfarb J

Publisher

Child Abuse & Neglect

Date

2005
2005-08

Description

The history of an older child victim of Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is described. He was referred for evaluation after repeated sinus surgeries for recurrent sinus infections believed to be related to a falsified history of an immunodeficiency. The perpetrator was the mother of this 14-year-old victim, consistent with the majority of such cases. This case prompted a review of cases of MBP in older children reported in our hospital as well as a literature search for other cases in older children. Methods: This study was a chart review of children over 6 years of age who had been evaluated by social services at the Children's Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic and reported as cases of Munchausen by proxy to Child Protective Services between January 2001 and June 2003. Also, an OVID, Psychline, and Pubmed literature review of published cases of Munchausen by proxy were identified, and cases occurring in the older child were selected for review. Results: Older children who are the victims of Munchausen by proxy may have an induced illness, but falsified reports of symptoms and medical history to coerce the child to undergo medical procedures may be more common. Collusion of the victim with the perpetrator may also become a factor as the child ages and adopts the deception. Given the complex relationship that exists between the parent and child, it is difficult to predict whether the victim either will assist the caregiver in maintaining the factitious illness or be able to recognize the falsification. Conclusions: Older children who are the victims of Munchausen by proxy may fear consequences of revealing the factitious illness. Physicians must consider the possibility of this diagnosis whenever there are discrepancies in a child's illness that makes a factitious illness a consideration. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Subject

sepsis; Psychology; child abuse; child abuse; deceit; factitious disorder; factitious disorder by proxy; Falsification; Family Studies; Munchausen by proxy; Pediatric Condition; Social Work

Format

Journal Article or Conference Abstract Publication

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Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

931-941

Issue

8

Volume

29

Citation

Awadallah N; Vaughan A; Franco K; Munir F; Sharaby N; Goldfarb J, “Munchausen by proxy: A case, chart series, and literature review of older victims,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed March 2, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/8526.

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