Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 217–245 | Cite as

Outcome of Minnesota's Gambling Treatment Programs



This study measured the outcome of four state-supported outpatient gambling treatment programs in Minnesota. The programs were developed specifically for the treatment of pathological gamblers and offered multiple modalities of treatment including individual, group, education, twelve-step work, family groups, and financial counseling. The therapeutic orientation was eclectic with an emphasis on the twelve steps of Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and a treatment goal of abstinence. The sample included 348 men and 220 women treated between January 1992 and January 1995. A pretest-posttest design was utilized with multidimensional assessments obtained at intake, discharge, six-months, and twelve-months post-discharge. Variables assessed included a range of clinical and outcome variables. At six month follow-up, 28% reported that they had abstained from gambling during the six months following discharge and an additional 20% had gambled less than once per month. Almost half of the sample (48%) showed clinically significant improvement in gambling frequency at six monthfollow-up. Outcome variables of gambling frequency, SOGS scores, amount of money gambled, number of friends who gamble, psychosocial problems, and number of financial problems, all showed statistically significant improvements from pretreatment to follow-up. The treatment programs yielded outcome results similar to those reported for alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs.

gambling treatment outcome 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1989). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Babor, T. F., Stephens, R. S., & Marlatt, G. A. (1987). Verbal report methods in clinical research on alcoholism: Response bias and its minimization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 48, 410–424.Google Scholar
  3. Bergin, A., & Lambert, M. (1978). The evaluation of therapeutic outcomes. In A. Bergin & S. Garfield (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change: An empirical analysis (pp. 139–190). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Beutler, L. E. (1990). Methodology: What are the design issues involved in the defined research priorities. In L. S. Onken & J. D. Blaine (Eds.), Psychotherapy and counseling in the treatment of drug abuse (pp. 105–118). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.Google Scholar
  5. Blackman, S., Simone, R. V., Thoms, D. R., & Blackman, S. (1989). The Gamblers Treatment Clinic of St. Vincent's North Richmond Community Mental Health Center: Characteristics of the clients and outcome of treatment. International Journal of the Addictions, 24, 29–37.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, L., & Horn, J. (Eds.) (1991). Best methods for the analysis of change: Recent advances, unanswered questions, future directions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  7. Cronbach, L. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297–334.Google Scholar
  8. DeCaria, C. M., Hollander, E., Grossman, R., Wong, C. M., Mosovich, S. A., & Cherkasky, S. (1996). Diagnosis, neurobiology, and treatment of pathological gambling. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 57 (supplement 8), 80–84.Google Scholar
  9. Emerson, M. O., & Laundergan, J. C. (1996). Gambling and problem gambling among adult Minnesotans: Changes 1990 to 1994. Journal of Gambling Studies, 12, 291–304.Google Scholar
  10. Emrick, C. D., & Hansen, J. (1983). Assertions regarding effectiveness of treatment for alcoholism: Fact or fantasy? American Psychologist, 38, 1078–1088.Google Scholar
  11. Gambino, B., & Cummings, T. (1989). Treatment for compulsive gambling: Where are we now? In H. J. Shaffer, S. A. Stein, B. Gambino and T. N. Cummings (Eds.), Compulsive gambling: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 315–335). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  12. Harrison, P. A., & Hoffmann, N. (1989). CATOR report: Adolescent treatment completers one year later. St. Paul, MN: Chemical Abuse/Addiction Treatment Outcome Registry.Google Scholar
  13. Jacobson, N. S., & Truax, P. (1991). Clinical significance: A statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 12–19.Google Scholar
  14. Knapp, T. J., & Lech, B. C. (1987). Pathological gambling: A review with recommendations. Advances in Behavior Research and Therapy, 9, 21–49.Google Scholar
  15. Lambert, M., DeJulio, S., & Christensen, E. (1983). The assessment of psychotherapy outcome. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Larsen, D., Attkisson, C., Hargreaves, W., & Nguyen, J. (1979). Assessment of client/patient satisfaction: Development of a general scale. Evaluation and Program Planning, 2, 197–207.Google Scholar
  17. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184–1188.Google Scholar
  18. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1991). Evaluation of patients treated for pathological gambling in a combined alcohol, substance abuse and pathological gambling treatment unit using the Addiction Severity Index. British Journal of Addiction, 86, 1017–1028.Google Scholar
  19. Lesieur, H. R., & Rosenthal, R. (1991). Pathological gambling: A review of the literature (Prepared for the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-IV Committee on Disorders of Impulse Control Not Elsewhere Classified). Journal of Gambling Studies, 7, 5–39.Google Scholar
  20. Moore, T. L. (1998). Gambling Treatment Evaluation Update. Wilsonville, OR: Herbert & Louis.Google Scholar
  21. Murray, J. B. (1993). Review of research on pathological gambling. Psychological Reports, 72, 791–810.Google Scholar
  22. Nathan, P. E., & Lansky, D. (1978). Common methodological problems in research on the addictions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 713–726.Google Scholar
  23. National Research Council (1999). Pathological gambling: A critical review. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  24. Nunnally, J. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill, Inc.Google Scholar
  25. Petry, N. M., & Armentano, C. (1999). Prevalence, assessment, and treatment of pathological gambling: A review. Psychiatric Services, 50, 1021–1027.Google Scholar
  26. Russo, A. M., Taber, J. I., McCormick, R. A., & Ramirez, L. F. (1984). An outcome study of an inpatient treatment program for pathological gamblers. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 35, 823–827.Google Scholar
  27. Sobell, L C. (1978). A critique of alcoholism treatment evaluation. In G. A. Marlatt & P. E. Nathan (Eds.), Behavioral assessment and treatment of alcoholism (pp. 166–182). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Center of Alcohol Studies.Google Scholar
  28. Stinchfield, R. D., Niforopulos, L., & Feder, S. (1994). Follow-up contact bias in adolescent substance abuse treatment outcome research. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 55, 285–289.Google Scholar
  29. Stinchfield, R., & Owen, P. (1998). Hazelden's Model of Treatment and its Outcome. Addictive Behaviors, 23, 669–683.Google Scholar
  30. Stinchfield, R. D., Owen, P., & Winters, K. (1994). Group therapy for substance abuse: A review of the empirical research. In A. Fuhriman & G. Burlingame (Eds.), Handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 458–488). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  31. Stinchfield, R., & Winters, K. (1996). Effectiveness of Six State-Supported Compulsive Gambling Treatment Programs in Minnesota. Saint Paul, MN: Compulsive Gambling Program, Minnesota Department of Human Services.Google Scholar
  32. Stinchfield, R., & Winters, K. C. (1997). Measuring change in adolescent substance misuse with the Personal Experience Inventory (PEI). Substance Use and Misuse, 32, 63–76.Google Scholar
  33. Strupp, H. H. (1993). Psychotherapy research: Evolution and current trends. In T. K. Fagan & G. R. VandenBos (Eds.), Exploring applied psychology: Origins and critical analyses (pp. 157–193). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  34. Sylvain, C., Ladouceur, R., & Boisvert, J. (1997). Cognitive and behavioral treatment of pathological gambling: A controlled study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 727–732.Google Scholar
  35. Taber, J. I., McCormick, R. A., Russo, A. M., Adkins, B. J., & Ramirez, L. F. (1987). Follow-up of pathological gamblers after treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 757–761.Google Scholar
  36. Toneatto, T., & Sobell, L. C. (1990). Pathological gambling treated with cognitive behavior therapy: A case report. Addictive Behaviors, 15, 497–501.Google Scholar
  37. Viets, V. C. L., & Miller, W. R. (1997). Treatment approaches for pathological gamblers. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 689–702.Google Scholar
  38. Volberg, R. A. (1988). Compulsive gambling treatment program evaluation: Final report. Albany, NY: NYS Office of Mental Health.Google Scholar
  39. Walker, M. B. (1993). Treatment strategies for problem gambling: A review of effectiveness. In W. R. Eadington and J. A. Cornelius (Eds.), Gambling behavior and problem gambling (pp. 533–566). Reno, NV: William R. Eadington & Judy A. Cornelius.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaUSA

Personalised recommendations