Epidemiology

Factitious disorders are relatively uncommon but probably underdiagnosed. Prevalence depends on clinical setting and the investigators' index of suspicion. Factitious disorder (probably under-reported) is probably more common than full-blown Munchausen syndrome (probably over-reported).

Of 1288 liaison psychiatric consecutive referrals, consultation in a North American general hospital, 0.8 per cent had factitious disorder. (6) Similar figures have been reported by Dutch investigators.(7) Prevalence rates for factitious disorder with psychological symptoms in patients under the age of 65 in a psychiatric hospital are approximately 0.4 per cent.(!7)

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