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The Evidence Base Supporting the Subtyping of Gamblers in Treatment

  • James R. Westphal
Article

Abstract

Introduction

Recent reviews found problem gamblers are heterogeneous and recommended subtyping gamblers in treatment studies.

Objective

Review factors (stage of change, preferred gambling activity, co-occurring disorder, and temporal instability of symptoms) for subtyping by evaluating the evidence for their effects on gambling treatment.

Methods

Literature review, evidence grading.

Results

Evidence is limited that any of the reviewed factors affects gambling treatment. Substantial evidence from prospective studies and other evidence from cross-sectional studies and the strong placebo response among pathological gamblers support the temporal instability of gambling symptoms.

Conclusions

Multiple studies are needed to develop the evidence base needed to subtype gamblers in treatment. Changes in the diagnostic criteria of pathological gambling may be necessary, especially to specify the persistence of gambling-related symptoms.

Keywords

Course of problem gambling Motivation of problem gamblers Treatment outcome of problem gamblers Co-occurring psychiatric disorders 

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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa, John Burns School of Medicine, Hawaii State HospitalKaneoheUSA

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