Damian Collins MP, chair of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, said: “There needs to be an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows.
“Programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show risk putting people who might be vulnerable on to a public stage at a point in their lives when they are unable to foresee the consequences, either for themselves or their families.
“With an increasing demand for this type of programming, we’ll be examining broadcasting regulation in this area – is it fit for purpose?”
The committee will scrutinise the psychological support provided to participants and ask who should be responsible for monitoring whether duty of care policies are being effectively applied.
It will also look at whether shows put pressure on participants to exhibit “more extreme behaviour”.
Ofcom said it was “vital” that people taking part in reality and factual shows were properly looked after, and its broadcasting code of conduct could include new protections for them.
“We’re examining whether more can be done to safeguard the welfare of those people, similar to the duty of care we have in the broadcasting code to protect under-18s,” a spokesperson said.
If you are feeling emotionally distressed and would like details of organisations in the UK which offer advice and support, go to bbc.co.uk/actionline.