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Eat Weight Disord. 2007 Dec;12(4):e75-7.

An algorithm for the diagnosis of Münchausen's syndrome in eating disorders.

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  • 1Eating Disorders Program, University of British Columbia, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1Y6, Canada.



To present an algorithm for the diagnosis of Münchausen's syndrome (MS) in patients with eating disorders (ED).


Case reports and review of the literature using PubMed.


Two cases diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (AN): one later diagnosed with MS and one with Münchausen's syndrome by proxy (MSBP) are presented. We then present an algorithm to aid in the diagnosis of MS and MSBP in patients with eating disorders.


EDs can be distinguished from MS by their distinctive psychopathological traits, including fear of weight gain, eating and shape concerns, and food restraint. However, the diagnosis of concurrent ED and MS can be difficult because patients with both disorders may manifest similar abnormal behaviours: self-injurious behaviour, manipulation, splitting, physical complaints, multiple admissions, non-compliance, and giving false information. We present an algorithm as an aid to the diagnosis of concurrent MS and ED.

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