Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1045–1059 | Cite as

Psychological Well-Being as an Additional Outcome Parameter in the Treatment of Patients with Gambling Disorder: Results from a Clinical Multicenter Follow-Up Study

  • Kai W. MüllerEmail author
  • Lisa Naab
  • Klaus Wölfling
  • Manfred E. Beutel
  • Ulrike Dickenhorst
  • Andreas Koch
Research Paper


According to the World Health Organization well-being has been defined as one outcome parameter indicating successful recovery from diseases. One disease causing significant psychosocial problems and distress is Gambling Disorder that is being characterized as a poorly controlled excessive engagement in gambling activities. While there are several studies investigating treatment-effects in patients with Gambling Disorder, the role of well-being as a complementary treatment outcome has not been studied so far. In our research project it was aimed to fill this gap by gathering data on changes of eudaimonic dimensions of well-being from 76 patients with Gambling Disorder before and 1 year after receiving inpatient treatment. At both waves (pretreatment and follow-up) we collected data regarding well-being (Ryff Scales of Well-being), psychopathological symptoms (SCL-9), and diagnostic criteria for Gambling Disorder (Lie/Bet-Questionnaire). We found some dimensions of well-being changing 1 year after treatment and that patients recovered from Gambling Disorder displayed significant increments in Autonomy and Environmental Mastery. In contrast, patients still meeting criteria for Gambling Disorder displayed well-being increments only in Environmental Mastery and decreases in Personal Growth and Positive Relations with Others. Only changes in Environmental Mastery and Self-Acceptance were significantly associated with decreases in psychosocial distress indicating that well-being is an additional indicator for treatment outcome. It was also intended to identify factors predicting increments in well-being. However, no relationships were found regarding demographics, clinical variables, or treatment parameters. It is proposed to acknowledge well-being as an additional indicator for treatment effects and suggested to implement therapeutic strategies for an early enhancement of well-being.


Abstinence Eudaimonic well-being Follow-up Gambling disorder Psychopathology Treatment outcome 



This study was founded by the German Federal Ministry of Health (Grant No. IIA5-2513DSM210). We want to thank all the participating rehabilitation centers and especially Helene Rickert and Meng Wang for their supporting assistance in the project management.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai W. Müller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa Naab
    • 1
  • Klaus Wölfling
    • 1
  • Manfred E. Beutel
    • 2
  • Ulrike Dickenhorst
    • 3
  • Andreas Koch
    • 4
  1. 1.Outpatient Clinic for Behavioural Addiction, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy. University Medical CentreJohannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical CentreJohannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  3. 3.LWL Rehabilitation Center OstwestfalenBernhard-Salzmann-KlinikGüterslohGermany
  4. 4.Bundesverband für Stationäre Suchtkrankenhilfe e.V. (‚buss’)KasselGermany

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