An inpatient treatment program for people with gambling problems: Synopsis and early outcomes

Abstract

The Statewide Gambling Therapy Service (SGTS) specialises in providing treatment for clients with gambling disorders and other co-related mental health conditions. During the period 2008-2009, approximately 1000 clients with gambling disorders diagnosed using the Victorian Gambling Screen (VGS) sought treatment through SGTS. Of these clients, 53 were admitted to an inpatient treatment program offered by the service. This paper reports initial clinical assessments and treatment outcomes from this inpatient program. A key consideration for inclusion in the inpatient treatment program was the complexity of client clinical diagnoses. Treatment involved cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exposure therapy with client progress in treatment being assessed using a range of standard clinical measures. Results include predicted values across a 12-month period (using the Victorian Gambling Screen, Kessler 10, and Work and Social Adjustment Scale) and indicate that scores across all measures might be expected to improve rapidly in the first 6 months post-treatment before slowing and levelling around 6-12 months. These findings suggest that the intensive inpatient gambling treatment program described here is a viable treatment option for participants presenting with a diagnosed gambling disorder and other co-occurring and complex mental health conditions.

Problem with this document? Please report it to us.