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ABSTRACT: Background: Descriptions of malingering imposed on another, in which an individual induces or exaggerates symptoms in another for secondary gain (including financial benefit or access to medications), are remarkably scant in the current literature. We summarize reported cases of malingering imposed on another in order to underscore its relevance to practicing physicians. Objective: We sought to review the available literature describing the creation or exaggeration of symptoms of illness, motivated by secondary gain, in another vulnerable individual. Method: A search of the literature using PubMed was undertaken searching the terms "malingering," "by proxy," and "imposed on another." Results: Malingering imposed on another may be under-reported in the professional literature. Maintaining awareness that caregivers may misrepresent or embellish the symptoms of the identified patient for their own gain is an important consideration to forestall unnecessary testing, hospital admission, and exposure to adverse effects of treatments.
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