Characteristics of treatment seeking Finnish pathological gamblers: Baseline data from a treatment study


This article describes the sociodemographic characteristics and gambling behavior of 39 pathological gamblers who participated in our treatment study in 2009. The inclusion criteria of the study were: score of five or more on both the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) and a pathological gambling screen based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The first 39 patients meeting the inclusion criterion were recruited into the study. The average age of the subjects was 39 years, and 80% were males. The lag-time between active gambling (at least three times per week) and the onset of a pathological gambling problem was short: within 2 years of active gambling, 62% of the subjects reported having become pathological gamblers. Our results also indicated certain gender-specific differences in the age at initiation and in the severity of the gambling problem.

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