Latest Developments in Treatment for Disordered Gambling: Review and Critical Evaluation of Outcome Studies
- 631 Downloads
Purpose of review
Over the last decade, treatments for disordered gambling have developed rapidly. The goal of this paper is to review and to critically evaluate the literature published on the treatment of disordered gambling in the past 3 years. Important findings are emphasized and accompanied by the authors’ personal observations on controversial results or hypotheses of interest.
Cognitive-behavioral interventions have been evaluated in treatment of Hong Kong Chinese individuals as well as in combination with mindfulness-based approaches. Personalized-feedback interventions have received increased attention, with brief treatments demonstrating overall efficacy. Pharmacological treatments continue to receive only limited support. On the other hand, web-based treatments appear to show promise.
Cognitive-behavioral and brief treatments remain the most empirically supported approaches, but new inventive combinations of treatments such as web-based therapies are emerging. Future research could benefit from diversification of types of treatments evaluated as well as an examination of what is considered “evidence-based.”
KeywordsDisordered gambling Treatment Review Gambling Evidence-based Pathological gambling
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Igor Yakovenko and David C. Hodgins declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
- 1.American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM 5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.Google Scholar
- 6.Chambless DL, Baker MJ, Baucom DH, Beutler LE, Calhoun KS, Crits-Christoph P, et al. Update on empirically validated therapies II. Clin Psychol. 1998;51(1):3–16.Google Scholar
- 8.Petry NM. Psychosocial treatments for problem and pathological gambling. In: Bowden-Jones H, George S, editors. A clinician’s guide to working with problem gamblers. New York, NY: Routledge; 2015. p. 123–33.Google Scholar
- 9.•Hodgins DC, Stea JN, Grant JE. Gambling disorders. Lancet. 2011;378:1874–84. The authors provide a detailed summary of key features of gambling disorders. In a concise review, prevalence, etiology, screening, diagnosis, and treatment are discussed with suggestions for future directions in research. The article is recommended as a succinct overview of disordered gambling for readers new to this area of research.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 10.•Cowlishaw S, Merkouris S, Dowling N, Anderson C, Jackson A, Thomas S. Psychological therapies for pathological and problem gambling. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD008937. A comprehensive review of all randomized-controlled trials conducted on psychological therapies for disordered gambling as of 2012. The article uses stringent quality criteria and represents one of the most rigorous recent reviews of the literature.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Swan JL, Hodgins DC. Brief interventions for disordered gambling. Can J Addict. 2015;6(2):29–36.Google Scholar
- 18.•Toneatto T. Single-session interventions for problem gambling may be as effective as longer treatments: results of a randomized control trial. Addict Behav. 2016;52:58–65. The study compares the efficacy of cognitive, behavioral, motivational, and single-session interventions up to 12 months follow-up. The design represents one of the few and the most recent direct comparison of psychotherapies for disordered gambling with the most evidence base.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 22.•Yip SW, Potenza MN. Treatment of gambling disorders. Curr Treat Option Psychiat. 2014;1:189–203. In addition to a thorough review of pharmacological treatments for disordered gambling, the article provides a summary of the standard dosage, contraindications, main drug interactions, main side effects, cost, and special points with regard to the use of all of the major categories of drugs that have been evaluated for treatment of gambling disorders.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 38.Luquiens A, Lagadec M, Tanguy M, Reynaud M. Efficacy of online psychotherapies in poker gambling disorder: an online randomized clinical trial. Eur Psychiatry. 2015;30(Supplement 1):28–31.Google Scholar
- 40.Magnusson K, Nilsson A, Hellner Gumpert C, Andersson G, Carlbring P. Internet-delivered cognitive-behavioural therapy for concerned significant others of people with problem gambling: study protocol for a randomised wait-list controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2015;5, e008724. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008724.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 45.•Fink A, Parhami I, Rosenthal RJ, Campos MD, Siani A, Fong TW. How transparent is behavioral intervention research on pathological gambling and other gambling-related disorders? A systematic literature review. Addiction. 2012;107:1915–28. The article illustrates weaknesses in transparency of reporting of disordered gambling intervention research. Recommendations for improvement are provided along with sources of existing reporting guidelines for both randomized and non-randomized designs.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 48.•Tolin DF, McKay D, Forman EM, Klonsky ED, Thombs BD. Empirically supported treatment: recommendations for a new model. Clin Psychol-Sci Pract. 2015;22(4):317–38. The article is a detailed overview of the criticisms laid toward the APA criteria for empirically-supported treatments. The authors provide recommendations for new ways of conceptualizing “empirically-supported” based on the research over the last two decades.CrossRefGoogle Scholar