The primary objective of this study was to analyze the association between alcohol consumption and short-term response to treatment (post intervention) in male patients with gambling disorder enrolled in a group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program.
The sample consisted of 111 male individuals with a diagnosis of Gambling Disorder, with a mean age of 45 years (SD = 12.2). All participants were evaluated by a comprehensive assessment battery and assigned to CBT groups of 10–14 patients attending 16 weekly outpatient sessions lasting 90 min each.
The highest mean pre- and post-therapy differences were recorded for the alcohol risk/dependence group on the obsessive/compulsive and anxiety dimensions of the SCL-90-R. As regards the presence of relapses and dropouts over the course of the CBT sessions, the results show a significant association with moderate effect size: patients with risk consumption or alcohol dependence were more likely to present poor treatment outcomes.
Alcohol abuse was frequent in GD, especially in patients with low family income and high accumulated debts. High levels of somatization and high overall psychopathology (measured by the SCL-90-R) were associated with increased risk of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse was also associated with poor response to treatment.