Background/Aims: Only a small percentage of pathological gamblers utilizes professional treatment for gambling problems. Little is known about which social and gambling-related factors are associated with treatment utilization. The aim of this study was to look for factors associated with treatment utilization for pathological gambling. Methods: The study followed a sampling design with 3 different recruitment channels, namely (1) a general population-based telephone sample, (2) a gambling location sample and (3) a project telephone hotline. Pathological gambling was diagnosed in a telephone interview. Participants with pathological gambling (n = 395) received an in-depth clinical interview concerning treatment utilization, comorbid psychiatric disorders and social characteristics. Results: Variables associated with treatment were higher age [odds ratio (OR) 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.08], an increased number of DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.06-1.70), more adverse consequences from gambling (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.03-1.16) and more social pressure from significant others (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.07-1.27). Affective disorders were associated with treatment utilization in the univariate analysis (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.19-2.73), but multivariate analysis showed that comorbid psychiatric disorders were not independently associated. Conclusion: These results indicate that individuals with more severe gambling problems utilize treatment at an older age when more adverse consequences have occurred. Further research should focus on proactive early interventions.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)