Self-exclusion program: A longitudinal evaluation study

Abstract

Few self-exclusion programs have been evaluated and their long-term impact remains unknown. This study has two main goals: (1) to assess changes in gambling behaviour and gambling problems for self-excluded patrons, and (2) to follow self-excluded gamblers for a two-year period (during and after the self-exclusion period). Individuals who excluded themselves {(N} = 161 at the initial stage) participated in telephone interviews after signing the self-exclusion agreement and were followed at 6, 12, 18 and 24-months. Results show that according to the {DSM-IV}, 73.1% of the participants were pathological gamblers. The self-exclusion program has many positive effects. During the follow-ups, the urge to gamble was significantly reduced while the perception of control increased significantly for all participants. The intensity of negative consequences for gambling was significantly reduced for daily activities, social life, work, and mood. The {DSM} score was significantly reduced over time. This reduction also took place between the baseline and the 6-month follow-up. The clinical implications of the results are discussed in relation to the effectiveness of the program. Suggestions are provided in order to increase compliance of self-excluded patrons.

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