Fabricated or induced illness in a child

Sasha Ban, Daryl Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Fabricated or induced illness by carers is a relatively rare form of child abuse in which a parent or carer seeks medical intervention by fabricating or inducing symptoms in a child. There is a range of terminology used to categorise this form of abuse, although it is often known as Munchausen's syndrome (Asher, 1951; Gawn and Kauffmann, 1955) by proxy (Meadow, 1977). In today's literature, particularly in the UK, the term fabricated or induced illness in a child by a carer (FII) is preferred. FII is a descriptive term and not a discrete medical syndrome, ensuring it covers a wide range of situations, while also shifting the focus to the child. According to safeguarding guidance from the Department for Education et al (2008), there are three ways a carer may fabricate or induce illness (Box 1). All health professionals need to be aware of this issue; many perpetrators do have increased and fabricated illness themselves, so may be seen frequently in various healthcare settings (Lazenbatt and Taylor, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1290
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number20
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019


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