Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: An Adult Case Responding to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

GÖRMEZ A., Kilic A., Kirpinar I.

CLINICAL CASE STUDIES, vol.17, no.6, pp.443-452, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1534650118795286
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.443-452


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) which replaces and extends the DSM-4 diagnosis of feeding disorder of infancy or early childhood. There is limited information as to the characteristics of the patients with ARFID, its course and prognosis and treatment. We aim to contribute to available literature on ARFID by presenting this case. We discussed a young lady with ARFID who responded well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with successful application of in vivo exposure, systematic desensitization, and cognitive restructuring techniques. After the 12 sessions of CBT as inpatient and eight sessions as outpatient, she gained 4 kg (8.81 lbs); her body mass index (BMI) rising from 16 to 17.5 kg/m(2), Hamilton anxiety rating score dropped from 27 to 5. She continued to improve reaching the BMI of 18.3 kg/m(2) 6-month post-discharge. This case suggests that CBT can be a useful treatment modality in adults with ARFID.