The British Journal of Psychiatry
Artefactual illness to attract medical attention.
M W Carney


This paper describes 35 patients whose artefactual illness gained them admittance to hospital. The 15 wanderers were more likely than the 20 non-wanderers to have been in more than 10 hospitals, possessed histories exceeding 10 years, presented with abdominal or psychiatric complaints, volunteered poor work records and displayed psychopathic traits. The non-wanderers were more likely than the wanderers to possess socially conformist personalities. Twenty-six patients had severe sexual/marital problems. Neither group attended well for psychiatric follow up appointments.