Treatment of gambling problems in Asia: Comprehensive review and implications for Asian problem gamblers

Abstract

Much research has been conducted in the treatment of gambling problems. However, very little is reported specifically on treating Asian problem gamblers. Thus, this article reviewed the general problem gambling treatment literature as well as the limited Asian problem gambling treatment literature to provide a discussion of interventions that can be used with Asian problem gamblers. The general literature showed that behavioral, cognitive, and combined cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) have the most treatment outcome literature and appear to be the most effective in treating gambling problems. Although, pharmacotherapy also looks promising, it may be more suitable for problem gamblers with comorbid mood problems or impulsivity. Research on other forms of treatments also exists (e.g., 12-step and psychodynamic treatment approaches) but are not as robust. Only three studies have reported on the effectiveness of treatment with Asian problem gamblers. The first study is case study. The second study presents data from a treatment program for Asian problem gambling and the last one presents preliminary findings of a telephone delivered treatment program with eight Asian American gamblers. These studies support the general treatment literature in showing that CBT and pharmacotherapy have a role to play in treating Asian problem gamblers. Based on the general and Asian problem gambling treatment literature, a discussion of treatment of Asian problem gamblers is provided including the use of CBT and other forms of treatment, issues to address in treatment, and variables that can assist treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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