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Are There Distinctive Outcomes from Self-Exclusion? An Exploratory Study Comparing Gamblers Who Have Self-Excluded, Received Counselling, or Both

Abstract

Research has not determined whether typical improvements in psychosocial functioning following self-exclusion are due to the intervention. This study aimed to explore distinctive outcomes from self-exclusion by assessing outcomes between 1) self-excluders who had and had not received gambling counselling and 2) self-excluders compared to non-self-excluders who had received gambling counselling. A longitudinal design administered three assessments on gambling behaviour, problem gambling severity, gambling urge, alcoholism, general health, and harmful consequences. Of the 86 participants at Time 1 with similar baseline scores, 59.3 % completed all assessments. By Time 2, all groups (self-excluded only, self-excluded plus counselling, counselling only) had vastly improved on most outcome measures. Improvements were sustained at Time 3. Outcomes did not differ for self-exclusion combined with counselling. Compared to non-excluders, more self-excluders abstained from most problematic gambling form and fewer had harmful consequences. Findings suggest self-exclusion may have similar short-term outcomes to counselling alone and may reduce harm in the short-term.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by a Responsible Gambling Research Grant from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General. Our appreciation is extended to the participants for their important and valuable involvement.

Conflict of Interest

The first and second authors have received funding support and provided consultancies to organisations directly and indirectly benefiting from gambling, including Australian governments and industry operators.

The third author has received funding support from state governments which was derived from industry sources.

The fourth author has received funding support from state governments which was derived from industry sources.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Correspondence to Nerilee Hing.

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Hing, N., Russell, A., Tolchard, B. et al. Are There Distinctive Outcomes from Self-Exclusion? An Exploratory Study Comparing Gamblers Who Have Self-Excluded, Received Counselling, or Both. Int J Ment Health Addiction 13, 481–496 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-015-9554-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-015-9554-1

Keywords

  • Self-exclusion
  • Problem gambling
  • Counselling
  • Outcomes
  • Longitudinal