The efficacy of individual Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) with concerned significant others of problem gamblers

Abstract

Treatment options for concerned significant others (CSOs) of problem gamblers are limited and available treatments focus exclusively on the CSOs distress. Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a comprehensive treatment program for CSO's of substance abusers that has been shown to reduce CSO distress in addition to the substance abusers alcohol or drug behaviour. CRAFT capitalizes on the well-documented fact that family members have considerable influence on the substance abusers decision to enter treatment. The present study modified the CRAFT approach into an individual treatment format for CSO's of problem gamblers and examined its efficacy in comparison to a CRAFT self-help workbook in a randomized clinical trial. No statistical differences were found between the groups; however effect sizes indicate that participants who received the CRAFT individual intervention seemed to have better outcomes compared to those who received the CRAFT workbook in terms of consequences of gambling, dollars gambled by the gambler, and several areas of CSO functioning. No differences between groups were found for gambler treatment entry rates and days gambled by the gambler over the follow-up period in terms of effect sizes. The results provide limited support for the CRAFT approach delivered in an individual treatment format with CSOs of treatment resistant problem gamblers. Further research, with larger sample sizes, are needed to gauge the efficacy of the CRAFT individual intervention compared to the CRAFT workbook.

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