Hospital course of underweight youth with ARFID treated with a meal-based behavioral protocol in an inpatient-partial hospitalization program for eating disorders

Saniha H. Makhzoumi, Colleen C. Schreyer, Jennifer L. Hansen, Lori A. Laddaran, Graham W. Redgrave, Angela S. Guarda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Information on nutritional rehabilitation for underweight patients with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is scarce. This study characterized hospitalized youth with ARFID treated in an inpatient (IP)-partial hospitalization behavioral eating disorders (EDs) program employing an exclusively meal-based rapid refeeding protocol and compared weight restoration outcomes to those of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). Method: Data from retrospective chart review of consecutive underweight admissions (N = 275; age 11–26 years) with ARFID (n = 27) were compared to those with AN (n = 248) on clinical features, reason for discharge, and weight restoration variables. For patients with ARFID, presenting phenomenology was further characterized by detailed chart review. Results: At admission, 53% of patients with ARFID were vomiting regularly. The predominant ARFID subtype was ARFID-aversive, with close to a third being mixed subtype. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptomatology (81.5%) was the most commonly endorsed reason for restriction. A third had undergone unsuccessful parenteral or enteral tube feeding. Patients with ARFID were more likely male, had higher admission BMI, and slower IP weight gain (1.36 kg /week vs 1.92) compared to patients with AN. Fewer patients with ARFID transitioned to the partial hospitalization program, although the proportion discharged for clinical improvement did not differ and both groups had a mean program discharge BMI >18.5. Discussion: GI symptoms appear a common contributor to restrictive eating amongst hospitalized youth with ARFID. Despite a slightly lower rate of IP weight gain, clinical improvement and weight restoration at discharge were similar for patients with ARFID compared to AN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • ARFID
  • avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • eating disorder
  • gastrointestinal
  • inpatient
  • partial hospitalization
  • weight restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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