• nl
    • en


Eric Dumont

PhD student



  • - Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • - Interventions, treatment

Pediatric Food Refusal (PFR) manifests from total refusal to extreme food selectivity. PFR can lead to serious health problems with the result of tube independency. In the long term children as well as their parents  are at risk to develop psychosocial problems.

Parents have often been told their child’s refusal might arrest at older age. The question if so,  and which determinants leads to a successful or no successful feeding career as well as if treatment is necessary , keeps still unanswered.  During my PHD –project I would like to answer this question by doing a retro perspective cohort study under  800 children  who are (were) familiar with PFR. By means of a multi regression analysis I will test several variables and their possible relation to spontaneous recovery or not.

There been a plethora of treatment procedures, nevertheless with varying results. Meta analysis on treatments effects on PFR shows that applied behavioral analysis techniques are most effective. However, these mostly clinical treatments are very intensive and might interfere in achieving an adequate child-parent relationship or realize a decent attachment at infant age. My research interest focused on the effectiveness of  behavioral treatment procedures of PFR and all the aspect which involved. Within my PHD project I will test the effectiveness of an experimental additional procedure, like appetite induction,  that might has  a positive influence on the duration and the intensity of the behavioral treatment. Besides of  that I’ve been interested in hidden aspects of therapist behavior where  suspecting or unsuspecting behavior sequences  can affect a child’s positive or negative mealtime behavior. At least I like to invest several type of treatment  en settings by comparing their effectiveness  and efficiency. The point of focus  is the effect and efficiency  of  a online life video feedback treatment at the child’s home comparing to the regular clinical inpatient  treatment.

At the end I hope my findings will result to a positive contribution in developing a more child friendly treatment of PFR useful in practice.


An up to date list can be found here.