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Can J Psychiatry. 2004 Apr;49(4):258-64.

Comparisons between the South Oaks Gambling Screen and a DSM-IV-based interview in a community survey of problem gambling.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. coxbj@cc.umanitoba.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To directly compare 2 forms of assessment for determining gambling problems in a community survey, and to examine the characteristics of respondents who endorsed DSM-IV symptoms but who scored below the formal DSM-IV diagnostic cut-off for pathological gambling.

METHOD:

We interviewed 1489 Winnipeg adults by phone (response rate 70.5%) using th South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), a DSM-IV-based instrument, and several gambling-related variables.

RESULTS:

The lifetime prevalence of "probable pathological gambling" (according to the SOGS, having a score of > or = 5) was 2.6%. The SOGS items and DSM-IV symptoms were highly correlated (r = 0.80), but a score of 5 or more symptoms for a DSM-IV diagnosis produced lower prevalence figures. Comparisons between recreational gamblers (those with no DSM-IV symptoms), subthreshold pathological gamblers (those with 1 to 4 DSM-IV symptoms), and pathological gamblers (those with > or = 5 DSM-IV symptoms) on series of gambling-related variables (for example, high use of video lottery terminals) revealed that subthreshold individuals significantly differed from recreational gamblers and more closely approximated the characteristics displayed by pathological gamblers.

CONCLUSIONS:

SOGS items show a high degree of association with the DSM-IV clinical symptoms of pathological gambling, but the DSM-IV cut-off of 5 symptoms is more conservative in defining gambling problems. Results support a continuum view of gambling problems in the community. DSM-IV scores of 3 or 4 represent the higher end of the group officially considered diagnostically "subthreshold" and may be important from both a clinical and public health perspective.

PMID:
15147024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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