Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 117–127 | Cite as

The Influence of Substance Dependence and Mood Disorders on Outcome from Pathological Gambling: Five-Year Follow-Up

  • David C. Hodgins
  • Nady el-Guebaly
Original Paper


A prospective study of the role of comorbid substance abuse and dependence and mood disorders in the outcome from pathological gambling. A naturalistic sample of pathological gamblers who had recently quit gambling (N = 101) was followed and data were available for 83% of participants at 3 months, 80% at 12 months, and 52% at 5 years. Those participants with a drug diagnosis during their lifetime were less likely to have a minimum 3 month period of abstinence, and those who had been involved in gambling treatment were more likely to have a minimum 12 months of continuous abstinence. Lifetime gambling problem severity and involvement in gambling treatment were most commonly associated with a shorter time to achieving a period of abstinence of any length. Lifetime history of a mood disorder also predicted a longer time to reach a minimum 3 months of continuous abstinence. Both gambling treatment and an alcohol diagnosis follow up predicted an increase in the odds of experiencing a relapse from a minimum 6 month period of abstinence. Overall, comorbid mental health disorders are predictive of shorter term but not longer term outcome.


Pathological gambling Comorbidity Outcome Problem gambling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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