Research Criteria

A. Intentional production or feigning of physical or psychological signs or symptoms in another person who is under the individual's care.

B. The motivation for the perpetrator's behavior is to assume the sick role by proxy.

C. External incentives for the behavior (such as economic gain) are absent.

D. The behavior is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

In DSM-IV, an individual (i.e., the perpetrator) whose presentation meets these research criteria would be diagnosed as having Factitious Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

General medical conditions and mental disorders

Factitious disorder by proxy must be distinguished from a general medical condition or a mental disorder in the individual being brought for treatment.

Physical or sexual abuse

Factitious disorder by proxy must also be distinguished from physical or sexual abuse that is not related to the goal of indirectly assuming the sick role.


Malingering differs from factitious disorder by proxy in that the motivation for the symptom production in Malingering is an external incentive, whereas in Factitious Disorder external incentives are absent. Individuals with Malingering may seek hospitalization for an individual under their care by producing symptoms in an attempt to obtain


See Factitious Disorder

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.