Assessing Problem Gambling: a Review of Classic and Specialized Measures
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Purpose of Review
The rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities over the past 20 years has generated interest in problem gambling and gambling disorder. This review will provide an overview of classic and newer instruments in the field.
Early instruments in the field of gambling studies were focused exclusively on population prevalence or diagnosis of disorder. However, a growing body of research, particularly in the clinical and neurobiological areas, have led to the development of a targeted measurement instruments and increased specialization designed for screening of a gambling disorder. Newer instruments and those that with renewed clinical and research interest are focused on specific areas such as cognitive distortions, and control of urges and cravings, which are key components of sustained recovery.
Measurement in the field of problem gambling is moving away from solely measuring population prevalence and psychiatric disorder toward targeting the specific mechanisms that underlie problem gambling and barriers to recovery. Future advances in measurement will necessitate using standardized measures to assess various facets of problem gambling and adopting a holistic approach to assessing facets synergistically to identify sub-groups and inform targeted treatment strategies.
KeywordsAssessment Gambling disorder Pathological gambling Problem gambling Measurement Gambling treatment
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Kyle Caler, Jose Ricardo Vargas Garcia, and Lia Nower report no conflicts of interest regarding this review. Lia Nower has served as an expert witness in gambling-related legal cases and as a consultant for government, industry, and research projects; she has received funding for research grants from international state and provincial funding agencies.
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 •• Of major importance
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