Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Behav Modif. 2006 May;30(3):315-40.

Retaining pathological gamblers in cognitive behavior therapy through motivational enhancement: A pilot study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA.


Treatment for pathological gambling is in its infancy. Several cognitive and behavioral interventions have shown promise, but high attrition and relapse rates suggest that gamblers requesting treatment are not uniformly committed to change. This article describes an exploratory study with 9 severe pathological gamblers--in their majority horse race bettors--who were recruited from a community treatment center. The gamblers were treated with a hybrid intervention consisting of motivational enhancement and cognitive behavior therapy. All gamblers were retained in treatment and during a 12-month follow-up period. This retention rate was significantly higher than that of a control group of gamblers who received treatment as usual in the same community setting. Of the gamblers who received the experimental treatment, 6 maintained total abstinence during the 12-month follow-up period, 2 were significantly improved, and 1 remained unimproved. In addition to changing their gambling behavior, many clients made successful lifestyle changes. The possible benefits of combining a motivational intervention with cognitive behavior therapy are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk