Chapter ch01. Research Exercise

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

You must read each slide, and complete any questions on the slide, in sequence.
Research Exercise
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Munchausen syndrome by proxy is an identified factitious disorder in which a caregiver purposefully and intentionally causes illness in another individual —in some cases, their own children—to garner attention and sympathy as well as be viewed as a hero or a victim. The victims of individuals with Munchausen syndrome by proxy can have permanent physical disabilities, psychological scarring, or, in extreme cases, they may die. Multiple and frequent hospitalizations and unusual constellations of symptoms, among other things, are indicators for Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The most common symptoms exhibited by victims of individuals with Munchausen syndrome are bleeding, diarrhea, vomiting, fevers, infections, asthma attacks, seizures, comas, poisoning, and sudden infant death syndrome.

After reading the WebMD article, “Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy” and the CBS News article, “Social Media Fuels Munchausen by Proxy,” consider the questions below. Then submit your responses.

Question 1


Question 2


Question 4

One possible answer might be that individuals with Munchausen syndrome by proxy enjoy the attention garnered from taking care of an ill loved one, and they can receive even more attention if they make announcements about their child’s condition on social media forums.

Question 5

One possible answer might involve monitoring the child and primary caregiver. A red flag would be if the child’s symptoms improve or he or she gets better overall in the absence of the primary caregiver, and if the child’s symptoms worsen when in the presence of his or her primary caregiver.

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