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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2007;37(2):229-40.

Phenomenology and outcome of factitious disorders in otolaryngology clinic in Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoudh, Sultanate of Oman.


The phenomenology of factitious disorders from the Arab part of the world has been lacking in the medical literature and few reports have emerged from otolaryngology. Using an observational prospective case series study (n = 19) with long-term follow-up (two to six years), the present study reports the magnitude and mode of clinical profile of factitious disorders in a tertiary care hospital in Oman, an Arab-Islamic country. The outcome was operationalized as prognosis following culturally sensitive intervention akin to confrontation technique. The present observation suggests the prevalence of factitious disorders in the otolaryngology tertiary care setting was 0.2%. Approximately 42.1% (n = 8) had hemorrhagic factitious disorders, 15.8% (n = 3) were those who feigned for multiple surgical interventions. Approximately 15.8% (n = 3) presented neurological factitious disorders while the remaining 26.3% (n = 5) clinical profile suggested minor feigned illnesses. Objective "evidence factitia" was present in 68.4% (n = 13) of the cases. On subsequent follow-up, nine patients with chronic forms became asymptomatic, three patients had fewer episodes, four patients were unchanged, and three patients were lost to follow-up. The prognosis was good in patients who did not have associated psychiatric illnesses as compared to those with psychiatric disorders. Factitious disorders are often incorrectly diagnosed, with all consequences in terms of adverse sequels. The observed good prognostic outcomes are discussed in the context of socio-cultural patterning and the factors that may shape the presentation of factitious disorders in Oman.

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