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Factitious Disorders in a Teaching Hospital

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Peter Reich, M.D.; Division of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital-Ambulatory, 75 Francis Street; Boston, MA 02115.

Boston, Massachusetts

© 1983 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(2):240-247. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-99-2-240
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To obtain an overview of factitious disorders in hospitalized patients we surveyed the cases found in our hospital during a 10-year period. Forty-one disorders were identified including one that was fatal and others that were chronic, severe, and life-threatening. The disorders fell into four subgroups: self-induced infections, simulated illnesses, chronic wounds, and surreptitious selfmedication. These subgroups had implications for prognosis and management. The patients included 39 women and 2 men, average age 33 years, 28 working in medical jobs. With three possible exceptions, none of the patients had Munchausen's syndrome and were not malingerers or sociopaths. Most of these patients





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