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Am J Addict. 2008 Jul-Aug;17(4):298-303. doi: 10.1080/10550490802138830.

Effectiveness of community-based treatment for problem gambling: a quasi-experimental evaluation of cognitive-behavioral vs. twelve-step therapy.

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  • 1Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. tony


With the increasing availability of gambling throughout North America, there is interest in developing more effective treatments. This study compares the effectiveness of two brief outpatient treatments for problem gambling: eight sessions of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (n = 65) and eight sessions of a twelve-step treatment-oriented approach based on the first five steps of Gamblers Anonymous (n = 61). There were no baseline group differences on gambling-relevant variables. Twelve months post-treatment showed no group differences on key gambling variables (eg, frequency, abstinence rates, money wagered) in an analysis of completers. Participants who attended more sessions and chose an initial abstinent treatment goal appeared to achieve better outcomes.

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