Clinical presentation can vary widely, as affected individuals can appear as injured or ill from any number of diseases, but commonly these patients are high utilizers of the health care system who have symptoms that are not well explained by a known medical condition. Children affected by medical child abuse can present with fabricated or inflicted medical illness by their caregiver, and they are consequentially subject to extensive medical testing and treatment.
There are different types of medical child abuse, including:
- Exaggerated illness
- Fabricated illness
- Induced illness
Many patients will improve during hospital observation but worsen after discharge when they return to their abusive environment.
Related topics: factitious disorders, physical child abuse