Author(s): Sheridan MS, Sheridan MS
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This article presents an updated review of the literature of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (Factitious Disorder by Proxy, MBP). METHOD: Four hundred fifty-one cases of MBP were analyzed from 154 medical and psychosocial journal articles. RESULTS: Typical victims may be either males or females, usually 4 years of age or under. Victims averaged 21.8 months from onset of symptoms to diagnosis. Six percent of victims were dead, and 7.3\% were judged to have suffered long-term or permanent injury. Twenty-five percent of victims' known siblings are dead, and 61.3\% of siblings had illnesses similar to those of the victim or which raised suspicions of MBP. Mothers were perpetrators in 76.5\% of cases, but as knowledge of MBP grows a wider range of perpetrators is identified. In a small number of cases, MBP was found to co-exist with secondary gain or other inflicted injury. CONCLUSION: Although published cases form a non-random sample, they add to knowledge about MBP and validate claims that it occurs. More knowledge about non-medical aspects of MBP, and more pooling of data, is desirable.
This article was published in Child Abuse Negl
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior