Treatment Overview

The very nature of the credible deception that is part of MBP makes the use of multidisciplinary teams critical for assisting in the identification and treatment management of MBP. The MBP team serves not only as a means to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis and the progress of treatment but also as a clinical and legal risk management mechanism to protect the child. After identification of MBP, all professionals providing services to the child and family (child protection professionals, caregivers, physicians, and therapists) form a team and work together to share information and coordinate treatment goals at least monthly. This team must be familiar with the details of the case and have open and regular communication. The suspected abuser should never serve as the primary source of observations and information regarding the child's medical history and health.

The treatment team is most effective when organized under the consultation and coordination of a court-appointed MBP expert and court involvement; this consultant can also serve as liaison to the juvenile or family court. Continued court oversight is a central requirement for the success of this treatment process (Ayoub 2006; Ayoub et al. 2000; Par-nell and Day 1998; Sanders 1996; Schreier et al. 2009). Treating therapists, who are also vulnerable to being misled by someone with factitious disorder, should demonstrate full knowledge of the condition of MBP and its challenges in therapeutic situations or be willing to accept supervision from a consultant with such experience. The best outcomes have been reported among those parents who fully admit their abusive behavior, engage in meaningful integrated therapy (Ayoub 2006; Lasher and Sheridan 2004; Parnell and Day 1998), are committed to changing their behavior, and demonstrate altered behavior and empathy for the victims over time. Treatment often occurs in three phases (Ayoub 2006), as described in the following subsection.

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