Clinical Reflections and Treatment Adaptations for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: A Case Study

J. Webb, N. Dhopatkar, P. Croft, H. Himmerich, C. Baillie, L. Dodwell, K. Tchanturia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a serious eating disorder, characterised by problematic eating habits that cause significant nutritional deficiencies. Having only been recently acknowledged as a distinct category, there is little research regarding best practice guidelines, especially among the adult population. In addition, ARFID often coexists with autism, and very little is known about how the diagnoses affect each other, further complicating treatment options. This case study reflects on the treatment of a young autistic woman with ARFID within an inpatient eating disorder setting. Using principles of food exposure, food trials were introduced as a way to increase food variety as well as overall nutrition. Results are promising, with the patient reaching a much safer weight and being able to increase her repertoire of food. While results are not generalisable to a wider population, it is hoped that similar approach could be used with other individuals who have ARFID and autism when aiming to increase nutrition and variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-467
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Case Studies
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • age group: adult
  • autism
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • comorbidity
  • eating disorder

Cite this