Treatment of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder in a cohort of young patients in a partial hospitalization program for eating disorders

Rollyn Ornstein, Jamal Essayli, Terri A. Nicely, Emily Masciulli, Susan Lane-Loney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a recently named condition to classify patients who present with restricted nutritional intake without body image distortion or fear of weight gain. We sought to compare treatment outcomes of patients with ARFID in a family-centered partial hospital program (PHP) to those with other eating disorders (ED). Method: A retrospective chart review of 130 patients 7–17 years of age admitted to the program from 2008 to 2012 was performed. Intake and discharge data included: length of stay; percentage median body mass index (%MBMI); and scores on the Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT) and Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS). Between and within group effects were measured for intake and discharge data. Results: Patients with ARFID spent significantly fewer weeks in program than those with anorexia nervosa (AN) and experienced a similar increase in %MBMI as patients with AN and other specified/unspecified feeding and eating disorders. All patients exhibited significant improvements in psychopathology over the course of treatment as measured by scores on the ChEAT and RCMAS. Discussion: Our findings suggest that patients with ARFID can be successfully treated in the same PHP as patients with other ED, with comparable improvements in weight and psychopathology over a shorter time period. Results are limited to patients with ARFID who exhibit an acute onset of severe food restriction. Future research should incorporate measures relevant to the diagnosis of ARFID and explore how patients with different ARFID subtypes may respond to various treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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