Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 229–241 | Cite as

Treatments for PTSD and Pathological Gambling: What Do Patients Want?

  • Lisa M. Najavits
Original Paper


This study explored the treatment preferences of 106 people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pathological gambling (PG), or both. It is the first know study of its type for this comorbidity. Sixteen different treatment types were rated, with a broad array of modalities including manualized psychotherapies, medication, self-help, alternative therapies, coaching, and self-guided treatments (use of books and computerized therapy). A consistent finding was that PTSD treatments were rated more highly than PG treatments, even among those with both disorders. Further, of the sixteen treatment types, the sample expressed numerous preferences for some over others. For example, among PG treatments, self-help was the highest-rated. Among PTSD treatments, psychotherapies were the highest-rated; and individual therapy was rated higher than group therapy. For both PG and PTSD, medications were rated lower than other treatment types. Non-standard treatments (i.e., computerized treatment, books, coaching, family therapy, alternative therapies) were generally rated lower than other types. Discussion includes implications for the design of treatments, as well as methodological limitations.


PTSD Posttraumatic stress disorder Pathological gambling Problem gambling Therapy 



This study was funded by a grant to Treatment Innovations from the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre. Opinions expressed in this final report are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre. 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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