Face-to-face and telephone counseling for problem gambling: A pragmatic multisite randomized study

Abstract

Objective: This pragmatic randomized study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of telephone and face-to-face counseling in influencing problematic gambling beliefs and behaviors. Method: Ninety-two participants from diverse ethnic backgrounds who had been affected by problem gambling were provided with psychological interventions delivered either by telephone or conventional face-to-face counseling over a 3-month period.Results: A significant overall time effect between pre- and postintervention assessments was found for total hours, money and proportion of income spent, and the attitudes and beliefs scores. There was no significant difference in effect size between the two groups. Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that both face-to-face and telephone counseling interventions might be equally effective in terms of short-term clinical outcomes measured postintervention.

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