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Case Report  |   August 1996
Factitious disorders and the 'professional patient'
Article Information
Case Report   |   August 1996
Factitious disorders and the 'professional patient'
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1996, Vol. 96, 468. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1996.96.8.468
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1996, Vol. 96, 468. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1996.96.8.468
Abstract

Factitious disorders are fabricated illnesses. Conceptually, these disorders lie in the gray zone between malingering and real diseases. Clinical awareness will prevent unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The author profiles those patients and symptoms that accompany factitious disorders as well as factitious disorders by proxy. In the case of the latter, child abuse may be uncovered as well. Although rare, factitious disorders will be present in a busy primary care practice. Clinical detection based on patient profiles can aide discovery. Early recognition and management may prevent a chronic and debilitating course from culminating into one in which the person becomes a "professional patient."