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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2015 March;56(1):33-7

language: English

Caregiver fabricated illness: focus on the nurse’s role

Ferrara P. 1, Romani L. 2, Bottaro G. 2, Caporale O. 2, Leone A. 2, Binetti P. 2

1 Institute of Pediatrics Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Rome, Italy;
2 Campus Bio‑Medico University, Rome, Italy


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Disease fabricated illness, previously known as Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), is a common form of child abuse characterized by the fabrication of illnesses in children and the request for medical treatment by the perpetrator, usually the mother. MSBP is not merely a mental health disorder but it is widely recognized as a potentially fatal condition. We present a comprehensive overview of definition, etiology and epidemiology of the disorder and the most relevant clinical issues. The role of nurses as an essential part of the multidisciplinary approach, required for an early diagnosis has been here emphasized. Nurses, in fact, are instrumental in the early identification and detection of MSBP and the use of the nursing process demonstrates comprehensive care in management.

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