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J Gambl Stud. 2009 Mar;25(1):19-32. doi: 10.1007/s10899-008-9112-x. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Reasons for seeking help for a gambling problem: the experiences of gamblers who have sought specialist assistance and the perceptions of those who have not.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. justin.pulford@aut.ac.nz

Abstract

This paper presents reasons for help-seeking data as reported by users of a national gambling helpline (help-seekers, HS, n = 125) as well as data pertaining to perceived reasons for seeking help as reported by gamblers recruited from the general population (non-help-seekers, NHS, n = 104). All data were collected via a structured, multi-modal survey. Participants in both groups considered help-seeking to be motivated by multiple factors (mean of 6.8 and 10.6 responses, respectively). Responses indicative of financial concern were most frequently reported by both HS and NHS participants (82 & 90%, respectively). Over a third of HS participants (35%) also identified financial concern as their primary reason for seeking help and 50% of NHS participants perceived financial concern to be the primary motivator for seeking help in a problem gambling context. Common types of secondary influence (other than financial concern) included psychological distress (HS & NHS participants), problem prevention (HS participants), rational thought (HS participants), physical health issues (HS participants), and relationship issues (NHS participants). The implications for promoting greater or earlier help-seeking activity amongst problem gamblers are discussed.

PMID:
19050996
DOI:
10.1007/s10899-008-9112-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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