Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2023). 44(2), 154–167. SIEC No: 20230907

Background: Helplines worldwide have frequent callers who may occupy a large proportion of call volume. Therapeutic gain from frequent calling has been questioned. We conducted this review to identify the characteristics of frequent callers and to compile recommendations about how best to help them. Method: Using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) standards, we searched for all empirical research in English and French from inception to May, 2020 in PubMed, PsycInfo, and the CRISE library. Results: We identified 738 manuscripts and retained 27 for analyses. Nine provided no definition of frequent callers; nine mixed frequent callers with repeat callers (>1 calls); nine concerned frequent callers (≥8 calls/month). The limited data suggest frequent callers are similar to other callers and often experience mental health problems, loneliness, and suicide risk. From recommendations in all 27 studies, we identified 10 suggestions to better manage and help frequent callers that merit validation. Limitations: The small number of empirical investigations and the diversity of their goals and methodologies limit generalizations. Although recommendations for helping callers may have face validity, empirical data on their effectiveness are scarce. Conclusion: Rather than focusing on reducing call frequency, we should empirically evaluate the benefits of interventions for frequent callers with different calling patterns, characteristics, and reasons for calling.