The current study presents results of a survey of 3,215 calls received at seven centers of telephone emergency services (TES) in Israel during the Gulf War, when citizens of Israel experienced severe stress resulting from SCUD missile attacks. Whereas former surveys have shown that characteristics of calls to TES in Israel are generally not affected by external stressogenic events, a remarkable change was recorded in both the quantity and quality of calls received in TES centers in Israel during the Gulf War. The relative frequencies of problem categories presented by callers during the Gulf War revealed a significant increase in "environmental pressures," a category that reflected the stressful situation of the war, as opposed to intra- or interpersonal problems typical of peacetime calls. A comparison between this group of "war calls" and a control group of "nonwar calls," revealed that the two groups represented populations of callers differing in sociodemographic characteristics, expectations, and benefits from the calls. Results are discussed in reference to the unique role of TES as a source of psychological first-aid in a community crisis situation.
- Gulf War