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Compr Psychiatry. 2004 Mar-Apr;45(2):83-7.

Retrospective review of treatment retention in pathological gambling.

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Department of Psychiatry, Brown University, 345 Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI 02906, USA.


Although research on pathological gambling is increasing, there are few studies examining correlates of treatment retention. In the current study, 50 outpatients with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of pathological gambling treated in a clinical practice were assessed by chart review. Standard scales were used to rate subjects at baseline and at 2-month intervals. Subjects who dropped out of treatment were contacted by telephone to determine reasons for discontinuation of treatment. The mean duration of follow-up was 360.4 +/- 352.2 days. Twenty-four (48%) of the subjects discontinued treatment, including 14 (36.8%) of those subjects who were responders (defined as Clinical Global Impression [CGI] scale of "very much" or "much" improved) during at least one assessment point. Of those who discontinued treatment, 41.7% reported missing the thrill of gambling and 20.8% reported feeling certain that they could win and relieve financial burdens. Predictors of treatment continuation were responding to treatment within 8 weeks (odds ratio [OR], 6.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13 to 32.00; P =.04) and having a supportive environment (OR, 22.99; 95% CI, 5.04 to 104.76; P <.001). We conclude that a large percentage of patients with pathological gambling discontinue treatment. Predictors of treatment continuation may have clinical importance. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to further elucidate the course of pathological gambling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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