Factitious disorder by proxy: pediatric condition falsification

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2008;16(4):215-24. doi: 10.1080/10673220802277870.


We present a comprehensive overview of the condition factitious disorder by proxy, also known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The review begins by highlighting essential definitions and the etiology and epidemiology of the disorder. It then analyzes relevant clinical issues such as assessment and diagnostic methods. The final section is a detailed discussion of the complex issues facing the clinician, including the process of confronting the perpetrator, relevant legal issues, and the treatment of the caretaker, child, and family through a multidisciplinary, team approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Child
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Humans
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy* / diagnosis
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy* / psychology
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy* / therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Psychotherapy / methods