Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 255–262 | Cite as

Prevalence and Diagnostic Correlates of DSM-IV Pathological Gambling in Psychiatric Outpatients

  • Mark Zimmerman
  • Iwona Chelminski
  • Diane Young


Studies of the prevalence of pathological gambling (PG) in psychiatric and substance abusing patients suggest that the disorder is not rare. Most studies have been of substance abusers in treatment, and the rate of PG has been found to be several times higher than the rate found in community based epidemiological surveys. However, only one study has examined the prevalence of PG in a heterogeneous sample of patients, and this was a study of psychiatric inpatients. We are not aware of any prior study of the prevalence of PG in a psychiatric outpatient sample. In the present report from the Rhode Island Methods to Improve Diagnosis and Services (MIDAS) project we examined the current and lifetime prevalence of PG in 1,709 psychiatric outpatients interviewed with a semi-structured diagnostic interview that included a module to diagnose DSM-IV PG. Forty (2.3%) patients had a lifetime history of DSM-IV PG, all of whom had at least one other DSM-IV axis I disorder. Patients with PG had significantly more axis I disorders than patients without PG, and had significantly higher rates of bipolar disorder, social phobia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, alcohol use disorder, and other impulse control disorders. Possible reasons for the low prevalence of PG in our sample are discussed.


Prevalence Psychiatric outpatients Comorbidity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Zimmerman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Iwona Chelminski
    • 1
  • Diane Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorBrown University School of MedicineProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Bayside Medical CenterProvidenceUSA

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