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Munchausen Syndrome (cont.)


Many people with Munchausen syndrome experience long-term medical complications from illnesses they have induced or from the mechanisms used to treat them.

Munchausen Syndrome Prevention

There is no known way to prevent Munchausen syndrome.

Munchausen Syndrome Prognosis

People with Munchausen syndrome are rarely treated successfully. They are reluctant to seek treatment for the psychological problem and are generally unwilling to undergo psychiatric treatment.

The self-inflicted illnesses and injuries of people with Munchausen syndrome can cause serious consequences. These individuals often undergo several unnecessary surgeries throughout their lifetime.

The prognosis for Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is very poor if the child involved is left in the home. The overall mortality rate is difficult to assess but is thought to be between 6% and 10%; however, it can be as high as one-third when poisoning or suffocation are involved. There is also a high rate of chronic illness (morbidity) and death (mortality) in siblings of children with MSBP.

For More Information on Munchausen Syndrome

Factitious Disorders, Munchausen & Munchausen by Proxy Page

Nemours Foundation, Munchausen by Proxy

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


Criddle, L. "Monsters in the closet: Munchausen syndrome by proxy." Critical Care Nurse 30.6 Dec. 2010: 46-55.

Lauwers, R, N. Van De Winkel, N. Vanderbruggen, and I. Hubloue. "Munchausen syndrome in the emergency department mostly difficult, sometimes easy to diagnose: a case report and review of the literature." World Journal of Emergency Surgery 4 (2009).

Stirling, J., Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. "Beyond Munchausen syndrome by proxy: Identification and treatment of child abuse in a medical setting." Pediatrics 119.5 May 2007: 1026-1030.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Munchausen Syndrome »

The medical case literature provides compelling documentation of patients who have intentionally exaggerated, feigned, simulated, aggravated, or self-induced an illness or injury for the primary purpose of assuming the sick role.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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