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Pediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Munchausen-by-Proxy: A Case Study

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By E. Van Hoof, et al • • September 20, 2006

Journal: Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Volume: 13, Issue: 2/3, Cover Date: 2006 Authors: E. Van Hoof, P. De Becker, K. De Meirleir DOI: 10.1300/J092v13n02_02 pp. 45-53 [in prepress, abstract online] Pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) posits even more challenges for professional caregivers in comparison with adult CFS samples. Most children with CFS display a decrease in school attendance and a decrease in social activities. As several conditions such as school phobia, primary psychiatric disorders, or family disturbance present the same characteristics, the diagnostic process appears more complex. Family disturbance, moreover, is often specified as child abuse, neglect, or even Munchausen-by-proxy. As skepticism is frequently associated with a diagnosis of CFS, patients and parents must fend for themselves fighting allegations of child abuse and neglect. This case study illustrates what happens when such allegations are put forward. Keywords: Muchausen-by-proxy, pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome, child protective services

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