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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2016 Oct;84(10):874-86. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000127. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

A randomized controlled trial of brief interventions for problem gambling in substance abuse treatment patients.

Author information

1
Calhoun Cardiology Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study evaluated the efficacy of brief gambling treatments in patients attending substance abuse treatment clinics.

METHOD:

Substance abuse treatment patients with gambling problems (N = 217) were randomly assigned to a 10- to 15-min brief psychoeducation gambling intervention; a 10- to 15-min brief advice intervention addressing gambling norms, risk factors, and methods to prevent additional problems; or 4 50-min sessions of motivational enhancement therapy plus cognitive behavior therapy for reducing gambling (MET + CBT). Gambling and related problems were assessed at baseline and throughout 24 months.

RESULTS:

In the sample as a whole, days and dollars wagered and gambling problems decreased markedly from baseline through Month 5; thereafter, reductions in dollars wagered and gambling problems continued to decrease modestly but significantly, and days gambled remained constant. Brief advice significantly reduced days gambled between baseline and Month 5 relative to brief psychoeducation. The MET + CBT condition engendered no benefit beyond brief advice in terms of days gambled but did lead to more precipitous reductions in dollars gambled and problems experienced in the initial 5 months, and greater clinically significant improvements in gambling in both the short and long term. MET + CBT also resulted in initial decreases in self-reported alcohol use and problems but did not differentially impact self-reported illicit drug use or submission of positive samples.

CONCLUSIONS:

Gambling problems tend to dissipate over time regardless of the intervention applied, but offering MET + CBT was more efficacious in decreasing gambling than providing a brief single session intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record

PMID:
27398781
PMCID:
PMC5036993
DOI:
10.1037/ccp0000127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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