Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder: An illustrative case example

Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, United Kingdom WC1N 3J, UK. .
International Journal of Eating Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.13). 07/2013; 46(5):420-3. DOI: 10.1002/eat.22093
Source: PubMed


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new diagnostic category in DSM-5. Although replacing Feeding Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood, it is not restricted to childhood presentations. In keeping with the broader aim of revising and updating criteria and text to better reflect lifespan issues and clinical expression across the age range, ARFID is a diagnosis relevant to children, adolescents, and adults. This case example of a 13-year old boy with ARFID illustrates key issues in diagnosis and treatment planning. The issues discussed are not exhaustive, but serve as a guide for central diagnostic and treatment issues to be considered by the clinician. It is anticipated that the inclusion of specific criteria for ARFID as a category within Feeding and Eating Disorders in DSM-5 will stimulate research into its typology, prevalence, and incidence in different populations and facilitate the development of effective, evidence-based interventions for this patient group. © 2013 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:420-423).

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    • "However, instruments will likely be developed, capturing the clinical features and diagnostic criteria which will help standardize diagnosis. There are some available resources to help guide the clinician in evaluation [24,27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a “new” diagnosis in the recently published DSM-5, but there is very little literature on patients with ARFID. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of ARFID in children and adolescents undergoing day treatment for an eating disorder, and to compare ARFID patients to other eating disorder patients in the same cohort. Methods A retrospective chart review of 7-17 year olds admitted to a day program for younger patients with eating disorders between 2008 and 2012 was performed. Patients with ARFID were compared to those with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other specified feeding or eating disorder/unspecified feeding or eating disorder with respect to demographics, anthropometrics, clinical symptoms, and psychometric testing, using Chi-square, ANOVA, and post-hoc analysis. Results 39/173 (22.5%) patients met ARFID criteria. The ARFID group was younger than the non-ARFID group and had a greater proportion of males. Similar degrees of weight loss and malnutrition were found between groups. Patients with ARFID reported greater fears of vomiting and/or choking and food texture issues than those with other eating disorders, as well as greater dependency on nutritional supplements at intake. Children’s Eating Attitudes Test scores were lower for children with than without ARFID. A higher comorbidity of anxiety disorders, pervasive developmental disorder, and learning disorders, and a lower comorbidity of depression, were found in those with ARFID. Conclusions This study demonstrates that there are significant demographic and clinical characteristics that differentiate children with ARFID from those with other eating disorders in a day treatment program, and helps substantiate the recognition of ARFID as a distinct eating disorder diagnosis in the DSM-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Choking phobia, also known as phagophobia or swallowing phobia is an uncommon clinical entity that has been underappreciated and is included in the new DSM-5 and upcoming ICD-11 diagnostic category of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. Phenomenologically distinct from other eating disorders, it is characterized by the phobic stimulus of swallowing that results in the avoidance of food or drinks, and ultimately to low weight, social withdrawal, anxiety and depression states. Its prevalence and long-term course on the general population still needs to be determined, probably reflecting years of indefiniteness regarding its nosology and by the absence of a clear set of diagnostic criteria. We present a clinical case of choking phobia in a 32-year-old male patient after an episode of choke when eating chicken. An early diagnosis and distinction from other eating disorders is important for proper treatment and fundamental for prognosis. We also make a thorough revision on literature in clinical features, differential diagnosis and treatment approaches, suggesting a conceptual approach for choking phobia as a clinical spectrum settled by different degrees of phobic subtypes, which may depend on a varied number of clinical variables.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review: The past few years have seen a steep increase in journal articles relating to feeding and eating disorders in children, making a succinct overview timely. The relevance of this review is enhanced by the recent publication of revised feeding and eating disorder diagnostic criteria in DSM-5. These have significant implications for younger patients, in particular through the inclusion of the new diagnostic category Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is likely that this will encourage increased research interest in this field. Recent findings: Recent publications included in this article cover a broad range of topics relevant to childhood feeding and eating disorders, to include: presentation, diagnosis and classification; epidemiology; risk factors; assessment measures; treatment, prognosis and outcome. Summary: The area of feeding and eating disorders in children remains relatively under-researched, with significant gaps in knowledge about epidemiology, course and prognosis as well as a limited evidence base for treatment. However, important and promising avenues are increasingly being explored. In relation to clinical practice, there is now a much better recognition of these disorders and a greater awareness of their complexity, severity and potential impact in both the short and the longer term if not appropriately managed.
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