Long-term follow-up study of low-weight avoidant restrictive food intake disorder compared with childhood-onset anorexia nervosa: Psychiatric and occupational outcome in 56 patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To compare long term outcome between childhood-onset Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and low-weight Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) in regard to psychiatric diagnoses, social and occupational functioning. Method: A consecutive series of 56 children originally treated for low-weight restrictive eating disorder (ED) were followed up after a mean of 15.9 years. ARFID-diagnoses were assigned retrospectively. Results: Thirty-seven patients originally had AN and 19 patients were diagnosed retrospectively with ARFID. At follow-up, in the AN-group 21.6% had a current ED, 24.3% had another psychiatric diagnosis, and 54.1% did not have any psychiatric diagnosis. In the ARFID-group, 26.3% had a current ED, 26.3% had another psychiatric diagnosis, and 47.4% had no psychiatric diagnosis. In the ARFID-group ED diagnoses at follow-up were all ARFID, whereas the AN-group showed heterogeneity. Morgan Russell Outcome Assessment Schedule indicated similar outcome in the AN- and ARFID-group. Occupational functioning did not differ significantly between the AN- and ARFID-group. Discussion: The AN-group showed high rate of ED at follow up. The ARFID-group had a similar outcome to AN. In the ARFID-group, all ED-cases at follow up had ARFID, possibly indicating symptomatic stability. Low-weight ARFID should be treated as seriously as childhood onset AN.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry


  • anorexia nervosa, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, course, feeding and eating disorders of childhood, follow-up studies, restrictive eating
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-438
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
Early online date2019 Feb 14
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch