Telephone helplines as a source of support for eating disorders: Service user, carer, and health professional perspectives
Taylor & Francis
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Access to care for eating disorders can be problematic for numerous reasons including lack of understanding and delays with treatment referrals. Previous research has highlighted the benefits of telephone helplines as an accessible source of support for those who may not wish to access face-to-face support or to fill a gap for those waiting for treatment. This study aimed to gain an insight into the perspectives of those who may use or refer others to a telephone helpline in order to identify the requirements of such a service. Triangulation of service user, carer and health professionals’ perspectives resulted in identification of themes relating to the type of support, delivery and practicalities of a helpline. The findings indicated that telephone helplines may offer numerous benefits for individuals with an eating disorder, whether accessed as a first step, alongside treatment or as an extension of this support when in recovery. Additionally helplines may provide an opportunity for carers to access information and discuss their own experiences, while supporting their loved one. Raising awareness of these services is important to encourage those affected by an eating disorder to access and make the most of this type of support. These findings offer an insight into the key requirements for new and existing service development with regard to both the type of support and the method of communication required by individuals with eating disorders.
Eating Disorders - The Journal of Treatment & Prevention;
Prior, AL., Woodward, D., Hoefkens, T., Clayton, D., Thirlaway, K and Limbert, C. (2017) 'Telephone helplines as a source of support for eating disorders: Service user, carer, and health professional perspectives', Eating Disorders - The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2017.1364934
This article was published in Eating Disorders - The Journal of Treatment and Prevention on 01 December 2017 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2017.1364934
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