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Diagnostic Assessment

The first appointment will entail a comprehensive evaluation that will include a thorough assessment by a member from each of the multidisciplinary teams, including medical, psychology and nutrition.  Due to the comprehensive nature of the evaluations performed, each patient should anticipate their first appointment to encompass the entirety of the morning.
  • The Eating Disorders Clinic medical team will assess your child's physical health and stability by completing a thorough medical examination which may include lab tests and an EKG if indicated. The team will visit with your child to review the medical and mental health risks of eating disorders as well as the complications associated with eating disorders. 
  • The Eating Disorders Clinic psychology team will perform a psychosocial evaluation of your child concentrating on emotional and behavioral symptoms associated with the eating problems. Your child will also be asked to complete self report questionnaires assessing emotional and behavioral functioning.
  • The Eating Disorders Clinic nutrition team will assess your child's current food intake and work together with your child to develop an appropriate nutritional plan for them to follow. Your child's involvement in the development of this healthy nutritional plan is a crucial component in the learning and implementation of healthy eating habits. 

Upon completion of this evaluation, the team will meet to discuss diagnostic impressions and make recommendations about the appropriateness of our clinic in providing services to the patient.  If treatment at the clinic is indicated, the necessary follow-up appointments will be scheduled.  Referrals and/or recommendations will be provided if treatment if our clinic is not recommended. 

For those patients who have been recommended to our program, parent/family attendance at an educational session from 11am to 12pm on Thursday morning will be required.  This session will include education on causes, medical complications, behavioral and emotional symptoms, and treatment of eating disorders.  This session will also include discussion of how parents and other family members can be helpful and supportive of their child or adolescent .  Educational resources will be provided, including recommended books and internet sites. 

Diagnostic Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa:

  1. Weight Below normal range (< 85th percentile)
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
  3. Body image distortion, weight or body shape determine self-esteem, or denial of seriousness of current low weight
  4. Missed menstrual cycle for 3 consecutive months or greater

Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa:

  1. Binge eating and purging at least 2 times/week for 3 months
  2. Inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain (vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, use of enemas or other medications, fasting, and excessive exercise)
  3. Body shape and/or weight determine self-esteem or self-evaluation

Diagnostic Criteria for Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified:

  • Referred to as a “Partial Syndrome”
  • All criteria for Anorexia are met except current weight is in normal range and/or periods are still present or have been absent less than 3 months
  • All criteria for Bulimia are met except binge/purge activity occurs less than twice a week or for less than 3 months
Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

Call: 501-364-1100

Eating Disorder Prevention, Identification Treatment and Recovery

Arkansas Children's Hospital Eating Disorder Clinic Brochure

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