Building evidence for the use of descriptive subtypes in youth with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder.
OBJECTIVE: To examine characteristics of patients with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) in an effort to identify and describe subtypes of the disorder. METHOD: A retrospective chart review was completed for patients aged 8-17 years assessed over a 17-year period. RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients were included in the study, the majority of whom were female (n = 56, 73%). The average age of patients was 13.7 years (SD = 2.4 years). Three specific subtypes of ARFID (aligning with example presentations outlined in the DSM-5) were identified: (a) those with weight loss and/or medical compromise as a consequence of apparent lack of interest in eating (n = 30, 39%); (b) restriction arising as a result of sensory sensitivity (n = 14, 18%); and (c) restriction based upon food avoidance and/or fear of aversive consequences of eating (n = 33, 43%). Clinical characteristics of patients varied depending on the assigned subtype. DISCUSSION: Our findings highlight the need for further research into the relative merit of subtype-assignment in patients with ARFID and whether such practice would aid in the recommended treatment. Further research is required to understand whether these categories are generalizable and applicable to other samples such as young children or adults with ARFID, and how treatment options might differ according to subtype.
Norris, ML; Spettigue, W; Hammond, NG; Katzman, DK; Zucker, N; Yelle, K; Santos, A; Gray, M; Obeid, N
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