A Meta-analysis of Brief Personalized Feedback Interventions for Problematic Gambling

  • Samuel C. PeterEmail author
  • Emma I. Brett
  • Matthew T. Suda
  • Eleanor L. S. Leavens
  • Mary Beth Miller
  • Thad R. Leffingwell
  • James P. Whelan
  • Andrew W. Meyers
Review Paper


Personal Feedback Interventions (PFIs) have been widely used to reduce the amount of time and money individuals spend on gambling. A central component of these interventions is personalized information about an individual’s gambling behavior, often in comparison to others’ gambling. The purpose of the present review and meta-analysis was to evaluate these interventions in terms of content, mode of delivery, target sample, and efficacy. Sixteen interventions from 11 studies were reviewed. We found a small, statistically significant effect in favor of PFIs versus control (d = 0.20, 95% CI 0.12, 0.27). Six moderators of intervention efficacy were explored. These interventions appeared to be most efficacious when used in populations of greater gambling severity, when individuals were provided with gambling-related educational information, and when used in conjunction with motivational interviewing. Factors associated with reduced efficacy include in-person delivery of feedback without motivational-interviewing and informing participants of their score on a psychological measure of gambling severity. Efficacy did not vary as a function of college or community samples. PFIs are a low cost, easily disseminated intervention that can be used as a harm-reduction strategy. However, more substantial effects may be attained if used as part of a larger course of therapy.


Personalized feedback Gambling Meta-analysis Brief treatments 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments and comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Gambling Education and ResearchThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  3. 3.University of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  4. 4.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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