Treatment outcome in male gambling disorder patients associated with alcohol use

Abstract

Aims:
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.

Methods:
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.

Results:
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.

Conclusions:
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.

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