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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.

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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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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