Categories Of FII

FII describes a spectrum of behaviours.


This is the invention of symptoms or signs in the child. The caregiver provides a false story to health professionals. Harm comes to the child through unnecessary interventions, e.g. invasive tests, medication, surgery [1]

Verbal fabrication with supporting evidence

This occurs when verbal fabrications are accompanied by false specimens and/or documents, e.g. manufactured kidney stones, falsified seizure records [1].

Induction of illness

Deliberate causation of signs or symptoms in the child by the caregiver. Causes direct harm to the child:

  • BRUE (Brief resolved unexplained event is a current term for ALTE)
  • Administration of noxious substances or poisons
  • Excess use of ordinary substances, e.g. salt poisoning. Salt poisoning can be differentiated from other causes of hypernatraemia, e.g. diabetes insipidus as it causes hypernatraemia, weight gain and a raised urinary (Na+) [6]
  • Excess use of medication
  • Use of medically provided portals, e.g. gastrostomies, central lines to administer toxic or infected material [1]

Obstetric fabrication or induction

This occurs when a pregnant woman falsely describes or induces problems with her pregnancy. This may result in premature delivery, loss of fetus or other harm.

FII co-existing with chronic illness

Co-existing chronic illness is present in many cases of FII [4]. This may make FII more difficult to identify [3].

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