The Involvement of a Concerned Significant Other in Gambling Disorder Treatment Outcome
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Interpersonal distress is a common feature in gambling disorder and adding a concerned significant other (CSO) to the recovery process could be an effective tool for improving treatment outcome. However, little empirical evidence is available regarding the effectiveness of including a CSO to interventions. We aimed to compare treatment outcomes (i.e. compliance with therapy guidelines, dropout from treatment, and relapse during treatment) in a CBT program involving a CSO to CBT treatment as usual (TAU) without a CSO. The sample comprised male gambling disorder patients (N = 675). The manualized CBT intervention consisted of 16 weekly outpatient group sessions and a 3-month follow-up period. Patient CSOs attended a predetermined number of sessions with the patient and were provided with resources to acquire a better understanding of the disorder, to manage risk situations, and to aid patients in adhering to treatment guidelines. Patients with a CSO had significant higher treatment attendance and reduced dropout compared to patients receiving TAU. Moreover, patients whose spouse was involved in the treatment program were less likely to relapse and adhered to the treatment guidelines more than those with a non-spousal CSO. Our results suggest that incorporating interpersonal support to gambling disorder interventions could potentially improve treatment outcomes.
KeywordsGambling disorder Cognitive-behavioral therapy Concerned significant others Outcome predictors
The findings described have not been published elsewhere. This work was supportted by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (PSI2015-68701-R); AGAUR (2009SGR1554) and Instituto de Salud Carlos III (FIS14/00290). CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn) and CIBER Salud Mental (CIBERsam) are supported by ISCIII. G.M.B. is supported by a predoctoral Grant of AGAUR (2016FI_B 00568).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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