Intended for healthcare professionals


Fabricated illness: guidance is updated as survey shows nearly all paediatricians see potential cases

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 02 March 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n610
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has provided new guidance on how to spot and investigate potential cases of fabricated or induced illness (FII) and discuss the findings with parents or care givers.1

The guidance, an update from 2009, provides procedures for safeguarding children who present with perplexing presentations (PP) or FII and advice on how to minimise harm to children.

It comes after a 2018 survey of RCPCH members showed the scale at which paediatricians are faced with PP. Nearly all (92%) respondents (216) recalled seeing at least one PP within the previous 12 months and 30% had seen more than five. Respondents reported 69 different condition presentations, …

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