Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy : Family Violence Research Paper

Topics: Health care, Physical abuse, Child abuse Pages: 3 (885 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy : Family Violence Research Paper

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) is referred to as several names, such as, fabrication illness and hospital addiction syndrome. The Maternal Child Nursing Care text book defines this syndrome as, “a rare but serious form of child abuse in which the caretaker deliberately exaggerates or fabricates histories and symptoms or induce symptoms. It is a form of child maltreatment that may include physical, emotional, and psychologic abuse for the gratification of the caretaker.”… ( pg 1067) The mother is the usual the offender that fabricates a false history of symptoms for her child resulting in attention from medical professionals and also making the child endure painful or unnecessary medical testing and procedures. “Motivations for this bizarre behavior continue to puzzle both medical and mental health professionals, but patients have in common a profound psychological need to assume the sick role and do so in absence of external incentives for the behavior, such as economic gain, access to narcotics, or a desire to avoid work or other unpleasant situations.”… (Criddle 2010) There are several forms of MSBP that range from mild to severe. Mild MSBP would include symptom fabrication, like claiming that their child experienced symptoms like apnea or ataxia. Moderate MSBP could include evidence tampering, such as manipulating lab specimens or falsifying medical records. Severe MSBP escalates to inducing symptoms, like producing illness or injury such as diarrhea, rashes, or sepsis. “A wide range of methods have been used to inflict factitious illness on children, but they fall into 4 general categories: poisoning, bleeding, infections, and injuries….” (Criddle 2010) Common forms of poisoning found in MSBP cases are ipecac, salt, insulin, laxatives, lorazepam, corrosives, diphenhydramine, amitriptyline, and clonidine. Bleeding can be induced in examples such as bruising the child, hematuria, or...

References: Criddle, L. (2010). Monsters in the Closet: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Critical Care Nurse, 30(6), 46-55. doi: 10.4037/ccn2010737
Lyden, C. (2011). Uncovering Child Abuse. Critical Care Insider, 41(5), 1-5. Retrieved from
Staff, M. C. (2011, May 13). Definition. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from
Perry, S., Hockenberry, M., Lowdermilk, D., & Wilson, D. (2010). Maternal Child Nursing Care (4th ed.). Mosby. Page 1067
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