A self-help manual for problem gamblers: The impact of minimal therapist guidance on outcome

Abstract

We tested the impact of minimal therapist guidance with a workbook designed to aid in reducing or stopping gambling. Randomly assigned participants recruited from the community who met at least 2 DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling received a workbook completed with therapist guidance (WB+G) or a workbook (WB only). Both groups met with a research assistant to monitor chapter completion and for data collection at each study visit. We examined the proportion of participants reporting any gambling, money spent gambling, and G-SAS scores during treatment, at the end of treatment, and at 1-year follow-up. Abstinence rates were higher among those in the WB+G condition, money spent gambling was lower for the WB only group during treatment, and both groups reported fewer G-SAS gambling symptoms at treatment completion and follow up. The workbook with guidance increased abstinence from gambling while in treatment and at follow-up more than the workbook alone.

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