Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 583–592 | Cite as

Treatment Utilization of Pathological Gamblers with and without PTSD

  • Lisa M. Najavits
Original Paper


This paper represents the first study of treatment utilization among pathological gamblers with and without PTSD. Comorbidity of PG and PTSD is increasingly recognized as an important association, both in its rate and clinical severity. The sample comprised 106 adults from the community (35 with current PG; 36 with current PTSD, and 35 with BOTH). Four areas were addressed: current treatment utilization, lifetime treatment utilization, specific treatments utilized, and satisfaction with treatments. Results indicated that the presence of PTSD was associated with higher treatment utilization (for current utilization, PTSD was higher than PG; and for lifetime, PTSD and PTSD/PG were both higher than PG). Indeed, only a minority of the PG group had ever attended current or lifetime treatment, whereas the majority of PTSD and PTSD/PG had. Yet notably, those with PG who utilized current treatment had no less satisfaction, number of treatment types, nor number of days in treatment than the other two groups. For all three groups, the most common current treatments were individual therapy and psychiatric medications. Study strengths include a rigorously diagnosed sample; an extensive interview-based assessment of treatment utilization, and identification of both current and lifetime utilization. Limitations include the inability to explore change over time or test–retest reliability of responses.


PTSD Pathological gambling Problem gambling Treatment utilization Therapy 



This study was funded by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre. Opinions expressed in this final report are those of the author only. Collaborators on data collection are sincerely thanked: David A. Korn, MD, CAS, DTPH (University of Toronto); Kay Johnson, LICSW (St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital System); Tamar Meyer, MA (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, formerly of the University of Toronto).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Medical School, Treatment InnovationsNewton CentreUSA

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