Promoting cross-sector collaboration and input into care planning via an integrated problem gambling and mental health service [open-access article].

Abstract: Although problem gambling and mental illnesses are highly comorbid, there are few examples of integrated problem gambling and mental illness services. This has meant that it is unclear whether such services are needed, why they may be used, and how they operate to support clients who are affected by the comorbidity and the clinicians who are providing care. This study reports on data collected via telephone questionnaire-assisted interviews of 20 clients and 19 referrers who had accessed one such Australian integrated problem gambling and mental illness program between July 2014 and June 2016.
Data revealed that clients were often referred in the context of psychiatric or psychosocial crisis, or when clinicians encountered clients who were not making progress and wanted a second opinion about diagnosis and treatment. Improved management of illness symptoms or gambling behaviour was a commonly reported benefit, and a number of clients reported gaining a feeling of reassurance and hope following assessment as a result of a deeper understanding of their issues and available treatment options. Access to dual-specialist expertise on problem gambling and mental illness may therefore enhance treatment planning, management during crises, and cross-sector collaboration to improve access to care and its impact on people who are experiencing comorbidity. Article available online

Reference: McCartney, L.E., Northe, V., Gordon, S., Symons, E., Shields, R., Kennedy, A., & Lee, S.J. (2019). Promoting cross-sector collaboration and input into care planning via an integrated problem gambling and mental health service. Journal of Gambling Issues, 42.


Big five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity [subscription access article].

Abstract: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; 5th ed.) reassignment of gambling disorder as an addictive disorder alongside the substance-related addictive disorders encourages research into their shared etiologies. The aims of this study were to examine: (a) the associations of Big Five personality dimensions with alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorders, (b) the comorbidity between these disorders, (c) the extent to which common personality underpinnings explain comorbidity, (d) whether results differed for men and women, and (e) the magnitude of personality differences corresponding to the 4 disorders. Participants were 3,785 twins and siblings (1,365 men, 2,420 women; Mage = 32 years, range = 21–46 years) from the Australian Twin Registry who completed psychiatric interviews and Big Five personality inventories. The personality profile of high neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness was associated with all 4 addictive disorders. All but 1 of the pairwise associations between the disorders were significant. After accounting for Big Five traits, the associations were attenuated to varying degrees but remained significant. The results were generally similar for men and women. The results suggest that the Big Five traits of neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are associated with the general propensity to develop an addictive disorder and may in part explain their co-occurrence; however, they may be more broadly associated with the propensity for any psychiatric disorder. The effect sizes of the personality associations suggest that the diagnosis of gambling disorder as operationalized by the DSM may be more severe than the other addictive disorders. Calibration of the diagnosis of gambling disorder to the other addictive disorders may be warranted. Article available from APA PsycNET $11.95

Reference: Dash, Genevieve F., Slutske, Wendy S., Martin, Nicholas G., Statham, Dixie J., Agrawal, Arpana, & Lynskey, Michael T. (2019). Big Five Personality Traits and Alcohol, Nicotine, Cannabis, and Gambling Disorder Comorbidity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, (16 May).

Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study [open-access article].

Abstract: It is well known that many problem gamblers also suffer from other psychiatric conditions. However, knowledge regarding the temporal sequencing of the conditions is lacking, as well as insight in possible gender specific patterns. The aim of this study was to examine the risk for psychiatric comorbidity among problem gamblers compared to non-problem gamblers in the general Swedish population, as well as the age of onset and the temporal sequencing of problem gambling and the comorbid psychiatric conditions among lifetime problem gamblers. A case–control study nested in the Swelogs cohort was used. For both the female and the male problem gamblers, the risk for having had a lifetime psychiatric condition was double or more than double compared to the controls. Having experienced anxiety or depression before gambling onset, constituted a risk for developing problem gambling for the women but not for the men. Further, the female cases initiated gambling after their first period of anxiety, depression and problems with substances, and problem gambling was the last condition to evolve. Opposite this, the male cases initiated gambling before any condition evolved, and depression and suicidal events emerged after problem gambling onset. There were large differences in mean age of onset between the female cases and their controls, this was not the case for the males. Gender specific patterns in the association between problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity, as well as in the development of problem gambling needs to be considered in treatment planning as well as by the industry in their advertising. Article available online

Reference: Sundqvist, K. & Rosendahl, I. (2019).Problem gambling and psychiatric comorbidity—risk and temporal sequencing among women and men: Results from the Swelogs Case–Control Study. Journal of Gambling Studies. Retrieved from

Gambling disorder, increased mortality, suicidality, and associated comorbidity: A longitudinal nationwide register study [open access article]

Background and aims: Gambling disorder (GD) appears to be an independent risk factor for suicide, and all-cause mortality has been sparsely studied in patients with GD. This study aims to explore mortality and suicide rates in individuals with GD compared to the general population as well as explore risk factors associated with all-cause mortality and suicide mortality. Access full article

Anna Karlsson and Anders Håkansson; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Psychiatry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Clinical Research Unit, Malmö Addiction Center, Region Skåne, Sweden. Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
DOI: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.112

Pilot study of problem gambling in specialized substance use disorder treatment—High lifetime prevalence of problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients [open access article]

Håkansson, Anders & Ek, Johanna. (2018). Open Journal of Psychiatry, 8, 233–243. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2018.83020

Abstract: Problem gambling is over-represented in patients treated for substance use disorders, but substance-specific prevalence of problem gambling is rarely reported. In specialized addiction treatment facilities for opioid maintenance treatment and for alcohol and prescription drug dependence, respectively, 129 patients were screened for problem gambling using the NODS-CLiP. The lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was markedly higher in opioid maintenance treatment (61 percent) than in alcohol and prescription drug dependence treatment (11 percent, p < 0.001). When controlling for gender and age, problem gambling remained significantly associated with opioid maintenance treatment. The present study demonstrated a very high prevalence of lifetime problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients. This calls for active screening for problem gambling in substance use disorder patients, and mainly in treatment for opioid dependence. Read full article

Gambling disorder in male violent offenders in the prison system: psychiatric and substance-related comorbidity [open access article]

Widinghoff, C., Berge, J., Wallinius, M. et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:

Gambling disorder is an addiction that can cause major suffering, and some populations seem to be more vulnerable than others. Offender populations have a remarkably high prevalence of gambling problems and they are also over-represented in a number of diagnoses related to gambling disorder, like substance use disorders and antisocial personality disorder. Yet, there are few studies investigating gambling disorder prevalence and related psychiatric comorbidity in this group. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of, and association between, gambling disorder and other psychiatric diagnoses in a sample of young, male violent offenders. Two hundred and sixty-four male offenders, all serving sentences for violent crimes (recruited between 2010 and 2012) participated in this study and went through comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, including assessment for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition criteria. Sixteen percent of the participants met criteria for gambling disorder. Antisocial personality disorder, cannabis, cocaine and anabolic steroids abuse were significantly more common among participants with gambling disorder. The gambling disorder group also showed significantly lower educational attainment. Cocaine abuse and failure to graduate elementary and middle school in expected time were independently associated with gambling disorder in a regression analysis. This study confirms the previously described high prevalence of gambling disorder in offenders. The psychiatric comorbidity was high and the problems had started early, with lower educational attainment in the gambling disorder group. The findings stress the importance of increased awareness of gambling problems among convicted offenders and of gambling research on young people with delinquent behavior. There is a need of more research to investigate this further, in order to develop preventive strategies and treatment. Access full article

Gambling disorder and obsessive–compulsive personality disorder: A frequent but understudied comorbidity [open access article]

Medeiros, G. & Grant, J. (2018). Journal of Behavioral Addictions 7(2), 366–374. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.50

Epidemiological data have suggested that the prevalence of co-occurring personality disorders is particularly high in people with gambling disorder (GD). Among the personality disorders, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) appears to be the most common problem. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical presentation of GD with and without co-occurring OCPD. Our research provides further
insight on GD co-occurring with OCPD, such as increasing social support and improvement of coping skills, especially to deal with financial difficulties and stress. Our findings may lead to more customized and effective therapeutic approaches to this frequent comorbidity. Access full article