Calls to the israeli hotline from individuals who suffer from eating disorders: An epidemiological study

Yael Latzer, Itzhak Gilat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thepresent study investigates the role of the telephone hotline as a source of help for individuals suffering from Eating Disorders (ED). This alternative source of aid was examined since individuals who suffer from Eating Disorders often display an uncooperative attitude towards conventional forms of assistance, which is expressed by avoiding treatment or dropping out of therapy. The increasing rate of ED and the severe morbidity and mortality linked to this disease necessitate the development of alternative sources of assistance that make tbeprocess of seeking help less threatening. Hotlines may be appropriate in this respect because telephones are widely available, make the user anonymous, andprovide the caller with a sense of control. Data were derived from an epidemiological study of 19, 776 calls received by all centers of the Israeli hotline (ERAN) during the years 1994 1997. The analysis focused on two main issues: The rate of ED among callers to the hotline, and the helpseeking characteristics of ED callers as compared to callers with otherpsychological disorders. 7he results revealed a steady increase in the rate of ED among adolescent girls, from 1.7% in 1994 to 3.1% in 1997. ED was found to be the second most frequentproblem among this group of callers. Compared to the control group, callers with ED were mostly new callers, andprimarily sought instrumental help (advice and information) rather than emotional support. About 40% of the ED callers used the hotline as their first source of he, while the remaining GO% had a histov ofprofessional treatment. These findings suggest that the hotline may be an important source of assistance for those suffering from eating disorders in addition to traditional forms of tberapy. Furthermore, at may also serve as a useful preventive tool in primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalEating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Calls to the israeli hotline from individuals who suffer from eating disorders: An epidemiological study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this