Munchausen by Internet and nursing practice : An ethnonetnographic case study
Research India Publications
Place of Publication
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical and Health Sciences
This paper used Feldman’s clues to factitious illness behavior on the Internet (FIBI), to determine whether the online behaviour of one member of an online breast cancer support community www. breastcancerclick.com , moderated by a specialist breast cancer nurse (SBCN), could be Munchausen by Internet (MBI) and why identification of this behaviour is important for online nursing practice. This was a focused ethnonetnographic and qualitative research study whereby the online behaviour of one member was observed and compared with Feldman’s clues to factitious behaviour on the Internet. The online data showed that nine out of ten of Feldman’s clues were applicable to the member’s behavior in the Click online community. The relevance of these findings are discussed in relation to the effects this behaviour can have on other community members, the attendant legal ramifications and the necessity for nurses and other health professionals, who are employed or who participate in online support communities, to be aware of this behaviour and how to recognize it.