Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a different kind of child abuse.

M. M. Von Burg, R. A. Hibbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) continues to mystify health care professionals, law enforcement officials and the judicial system. Even though the first cases were described in 1977, it remains puzzling why a parent would want to induce fictitious symptoms and illnesses in a child. Many professionals do not consider MSBP as a diagnosis because the parent, usually the mother, is so convincing that she is a "good" mother, cares about and wants the best for her child. This article is offered to further educate physicians that MSBP exists, can present in the form of anything and should be considered as a diagnosis in cases that do not make medical sense. Case examples are provided, along with common and not so common presentations. MSBP is a form of severe child abuse that must be reported to Child Protection Service when a child is endangered. Physicians play a critical role in identifying these children and recommending the best course of action to the rest of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalIndiana medicine : the journal of the Indiana State Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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