Prevalence of suicide attempts in pathological gamblers in a nationwide Austrian treatment sample

N. Thon, U. W. Preuss, A. Pölzleitner, B. Quantschnig, H. Scholz, A. Kühberger, A. Bischof, H. J. Rumpf, F. M. Wurst*, G. Allmayer, H. Beck, S. Brenner, R. Clemens-Marinschek, T. Eigenberger, C. Hannemann, P. Hinteregger, I. Horodeczki, D. Kohl, I. Korner, M. LierzerR. Mader, E. Nagelschmied, H. Poppe, E. Pötsch, J. Rachoi, B. Schantl, E. Scheucher-Pichler, G. Schneidhofer, H. Sterbenz, K. Yazdi, M. Zanki, H. Zimmerl

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
25 Zitate (Scopus)


Background: For pathological gambling (PG), a 12-month prevalence rate of up to 0.66% has been reported. Multiple financial, occupational and relationship problems and losses, humiliation of the person and the environment are possible side effects and may lead to hopelessness, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior. Suicide attempt rates among pathological gamblers of between 4% and 40% and suicidal ideation of between 12% and 92% have been reported. Aim: This study aims at assessing the prevalence of suicide attempts in PG and at elucidating differences between the patients with and without suicide attempt history (SAH) in a large nationwide Austrian sample. Methods: Between 2002 and 2011, the Austrian Society for the Research of Non-Substance Related Addiction collected 862 questionnaires of pathological gamblers undergoing outpatient and inpatient treatment for PG in Austria. Results: (a) Of all pathological gamblers, 9.7% had an SAH. (b) The SAH group suffered significantly more from a comorbid disorder and was more often in previous inpatient treatments. (c) The SAH patients had a longer time of an abstinence period in their PG career. Discussion: One in 10 pathological gamblers has an SAH, demonstrating the relevance of suicidality in this population. Significant differences for several parameters were found for PG with and without SAH. However, a regression analysis only explained 15% of the variance. This suggests that suicidality must be considered in pathological gamblers in general.

ZeitschriftGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Seiten (von - bis)342-346
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 05.2014

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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