Munchausen syndrome by proxy – another form of child abuse?

Roma Jusienė


Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), also known as Factitious Disorder by Proxy, is drawing considerable attention among specialists worldwide. There is a very little information about MSBP in Lithuania.
MSBP is characterized by the deliberate fabrication or induction of medical symptoms and signs in a child by an adult caretaker (commonly mother) in order to receive medical care, hospitalisation and multiplex diagnostic and treatment procedures. A child can be seriously disabled psychologically, physically or even can die as a result of MSBP. That is why MSBP is also considered as the unusual form of child abuse. The diagnosis of MSBP and intervention still present difficult problems. First of all, the possibility for misdiagnosis of MSBP remains high. Secondly, the analysis of motivation reveals several yet not all useful implications for treating other forms of child abuse as well. Finally, the multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, intervention and prevention is of utmost necessity to apply when dealing with MSBP or other cases of child abuse.


Munchausen Syndrome by proxy; factitious disorder; child abuse

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789