Journal Mobile

RM Steel
Journal Issue: 
Volume 39: Issue 4: 2009




Factitious disorder, often referred to as Munchausen’s syndrome, is a condition   in   which   sufferers   present   to   healthcare   professionals   seeking investigation  and  treatment  for  signs  and  symptoms  that  they  have  consciously fabricated for no obvious reason. Factitious presentations have been described all over the world, in every medical specialty and in every age group, yet by its very nature  factitious  disorder  is  difficult  to  study. There  is  therefore  a  dearth  of evidence  in  the  literature  relating  to  epidemiology,  aetiology  and  therapeutics. The disorder is notoriously difficult to recognise in clinical practice and there are as  yet  no  definitive  treatment  options  available.  This  article  provides  a  brief overview of the literature before offering guidance on the diagnosis and management of factitious disorder presenting in the general hospital. It also considers fabricated or induced illness, also known as Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.