Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by David B. Allison and Mark S. Roberts, 297 pp, $39.95, ISBN 0-881-63290-2, Hillsdale, NJ, Analytic Press, 1998.
THIS BOOK IS A LONG-AWAITED AND OVER-all good analysis of the so-called Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MPS). The authors carefully and accurately review and track the historical evolution of the concept and relate the social construction of the syndrome to the evolution of the concepts of witchcraft and hysteria.
It may seem to some that a discussion of the history of witchcraft and the "diagnosis" of its participants may be out of place, but, in fact, it clearly sets the scene to understand how the development of the concept of MPS has followed a similar pattern. The chapter on hysteria develops the same themes of the social and cultural construction of disorder.
MunchausenDisordered Mother or Disordered Diagnosis? Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. JAMA. 1999;282(22):2178-2179. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2178