Gambling decisions: An early intervention program for problem gamblers

Abstract

An implementation and one-year follow-up of the Gambling Decisions program attempted to answer several important questions. First, is controlled gambling a viable treatment option for some gamblers? Can earlier stage problem gamblers be separated for treatment from those with more severe problems? Finally, would problem gamblers utilize a community health agency for treatment of their excessive gambling? A pretest/posttest design was chosen where the efficacy of the program was assessed using repeated measures ANOVA analysis. Results showed that an average loss of $608 over a 4-week period was reduced to $113 immediately after the 6-week program and to a loss of $73 at 12 months. The average number of hours spent gambling per 4 weeks was significantly reduced from 23.5 at pretest to 6.5 at the 12 month posttest. Significant decreases were also observed in the number of days per week that clients gambled, and clients reported significant reductions in everyday life problems related to gambling after completing the program.

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