Does the Treatment of Cognitive Distortions Improve Clinical Outcomes for Problem Gambling?
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Although dysfunctional beliefs about gambling outcomes among problem gamblers have been well-established, there is less known about whether specifically treating such beliefs is necessarily more effective than other therapeutic approaches. In the present study, brief, homogenous treatments for problem gambling (i.e., cognitive, behavioral, motivational, minimal intervention) were compared to each other. Each intervention was based on approaches empirically demonstrated to be clinically effective. The treatment sample consisted primarily of middle-aged, non-partnered, underemployed men recruited from the community via newspaper advertisements. The results showed that a cognitive approach did not yield superior outcomes than did treatments that did not explicitly address cognitive distortions. It is likely that there are several pathways to therapeutic change that may not necessarily require the modification of gambling-related psychopathology.
KeywordsPathological gambling Cognitive distortions Treatment outcome
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