Gambling problems among patients in primary care: a cross-sectional study of general practices [open access article]

Cowlishaw, S., Gale, L., Gregory, A., et al. (2017). The British journal of general practice: the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. doi: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17X689905

Background: Primary care is an important context for addressing health-related behaviours, and may provide a setting for identification of gambling problems. Aim: To indicate the extent of gambling problems among patients attending general practices, and explore settings or patient groups that experience heightened vulnerability. Design and Setting: Cross sectional study of patients attending general practices in southwest England. Method: Adult patients (n = 1,058) were recruited from waiting rooms of practices that were sampled on the basis of population characteristics. Patients completed anonymous questionnaires comprising measures of mental health problems (e.g., depression) and addictive behaviours (e.g., risky alcohol use). The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) measured gambling problems, along with a single-item measure of problems among family members. Estimates of extent and variability according to practice and patient characteristics were produced. Results: There were 0.9% of all patients exhibiting problem gambling (PGSI 5+), and 4.3% reporting problems that were low to moderate in severity (PGSI 1-4). Around 7% of patients reported gambling problems among family members. Further analyses indicated that rates of any gambling problems (PGSI 1+) were higher among males and young adults, and more tentatively, within a student healthcare setting. They were also elevated among patients exhibiting drug use, risky alcohol use and depression. Conclusion: There is need for improved understanding of the burden of, and responses to, gambling problems in general practices, and new strategies to increase identification in order to facilitate improved care and early intervention. Full article

Advertisements

Gambling expenditure by game type among weekly gamblers in Finland (open access article)

Anne H. Salonen, Jukka Kontto, Riku Perhoniemi, Hannu Alho and Sari Castrén. (2018). BMC Public Health 18(697). doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5613-4

Background
Excessive expenditure and financial harms are core features of problem gambling. There are various forms of gambling and their nature varies. The aim was to measure gambling expenditure by game type while controlling for demographics and other gambling participation factors. A further aim was to find out how each game type was associated with gambling expenditure when the number of game types played is adjusted for.

Conclusions
It seems that overall gambling frequency is the strongest indicator of high gambling expenditure. Our results showed that different game types had different effect sizes on gambling expenditure. Weekly gambling on horse races and non-monopoly games had the greatest increasing effect on expenditure. However, different game types also varied based on their popularity. The extent of potential harms caused by high expenditure therefore also varies on the population level. Based on our results, future prevention and harm minimization efforts should be tailored to different game types for greater effectiveness. Full article

Gambling problems among patients in primary care: a cross-sectional study of general practices (full text)

Sean Cowlishaw, Lone Gale, Alison Gregory, Jim McCambridge and David Kessler

Background: Primary care is an important context for addressing health-related behaviours, and may provide a setting for identification of gambling problems. Aim: To indicate the extent of gambling problems among patients attending general practices, and explore settings or patient groups that experience heightened vulnerability. Design and setting: Cross-sectional study of patients attending 11 general practices in Bristol, South West England. Method: Adult patients (n = 1058) were recruited from waiting rooms of practices that were sampled on the basis of population characteristics. Patients completed anonymous questionnaires comprising measures of mental health problems (for example, depression) and addictive behaviours (for example, risky alcohol use). The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) measured gambling problems, along with a single-item measure of gambling problems among family members. Estimates of extent and variability according to practice and patient characteristics were produced. Results: There were 0.9% of all patients exhibiting problem gambling (PGSI ≥5), and 4.3% reporting problems that were low to moderate in severity (PGSI 1–4). Around 7% of patients reported gambling problems among family members. Further analyses indicated that rates of any gambling problems (PGSI ≥1) were higher among males and young adults, and more tentatively, within a student healthcare setting. They were also elevated among patients exhibiting drug use, risky alcohol use, and depression. Conclusion: There is need for improved understanding of the burden of, and responses to, patients with gambling problems in general practices, and new strategies to increase identification to facilitate improved care and early intervention.