Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Identifying Gambling Harm in Australia: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey

Session Title

Session 1-2-A: Identifying and Assisting Problem Gamblers

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

28-5-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

28-5-2019 12:25 PM

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study details the results of a longitudinal study of clients attending gambling help services in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory between 2015-2018. The study documents the treatment histories of individuals: how they access treatment services, their experiences during treatment, and their reasons for treatment termination.

We found that married and partnered people were underrepresented in gambling treatment programs. We also found that roughly 50% of respondents leave treatment before they consider it to be complete though we do not find any indicator that is significantly associated with drop out from face-to-face treatment services. Those who consider themselves to have completed treatment are far less likely to score high on the PGSI scale, less likely to be experiencing significant psychological distress, less likely to relapse, and less likely to have been satisfied with their course of treatment. However, we also found that clients in post-treatment experienced remarkably little change as a result of their leaving treatment, with no change between treatment and post-treatment in PGSI scores and other indicators. Finally, we found that, once clients leave treatment, they are more likely to depart from treatment altogether, with lower uptake across all forms of help.

IMPLICATION: Only a small minority of people with gambling problems seek professional help and few studies seek to track gambling help seekers and their experiences through treatment. We address a gap in knowledge about different treatment subgroups in terms of their pathways through and after treatment, and how they might differ from people in the community experiencing gambling problems who do not get help.

Keywords

Gambling help, Counselling services, Longitudinal, Australia, Gambling

Author Bio

Patrick Leslie is Research Fellow at the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University.

Marisa Fogarty is Director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University

Funding Sources

This report was funded by the Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission and the New South Wales Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services.

Competing Interests

none

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May 28th, 11:00 AM May 28th, 12:25 PM

Identifying Gambling Harm in Australia: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

ABSTRACT: This study details the results of a longitudinal study of clients attending gambling help services in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory between 2015-2018. The study documents the treatment histories of individuals: how they access treatment services, their experiences during treatment, and their reasons for treatment termination.

We found that married and partnered people were underrepresented in gambling treatment programs. We also found that roughly 50% of respondents leave treatment before they consider it to be complete though we do not find any indicator that is significantly associated with drop out from face-to-face treatment services. Those who consider themselves to have completed treatment are far less likely to score high on the PGSI scale, less likely to be experiencing significant psychological distress, less likely to relapse, and less likely to have been satisfied with their course of treatment. However, we also found that clients in post-treatment experienced remarkably little change as a result of their leaving treatment, with no change between treatment and post-treatment in PGSI scores and other indicators. Finally, we found that, once clients leave treatment, they are more likely to depart from treatment altogether, with lower uptake across all forms of help.

IMPLICATION: Only a small minority of people with gambling problems seek professional help and few studies seek to track gambling help seekers and their experiences through treatment. We address a gap in knowledge about different treatment subgroups in terms of their pathways through and after treatment, and how they might differ from people in the community experiencing gambling problems who do not get help.