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Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Gambling (CBT/CM)

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
UConn Health Identifier:
First received: July 6, 2005
Last updated: June 28, 2013
Last verified: June 2013

This study will determine the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM) in reducing gambling behaviors and other related problems in pathological gambling.

Study hypothesis: Participants who receive CBT and CM will attend more treatment sessions and show better outcomes than those who receive CBT alone.

Condition Intervention Phase
Mental Health
Behavioral: Cognitive behavior therapy
Behavioral: Contingency management
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy for the Treatment of Pathological Gambling

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by UConn Health:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Addiction Severity Index (ASI) gambling severity scores
  • amount spent gambling per gambling episode
  • longest period of non-gambling
  • days until first gambling episode
  • percent of days gambling
  • proportion meeting diagnostic criteria
  • number of treatment sessions attended

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Psychosocial functioning

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: November 2002
Study Completion Date: October 2005
Primary Completion Date: October 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Behavioral: Cognitive behavior therapy
    Receive 8 50-minute sessions of one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy
    Behavioral: Contingency management
    Receive vouchers that can be spent on rewards for completing activities that support abstinence from gambling
Detailed Description:

Pathological gambling has become an increasingly problematic condition in the United States, often causing serious financial, psychological, and public health consequences. In an effort to treat this growing problem, researchers have evaluated numerous therapies; one such therapy is CBT. CBT has been shown to improve pathological gambling outcomes. However, evidence suggests that adding CM to CBT could result in even more improved outcomes. This study will compare the effectiveness of CBT and CM with that of CBT alone in reducing pathological gambling.

This study will last 12 months. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either CBT and CM or CBT alone for 8 weeks. CBT will focus on reducing gambling urges and helping patients develop alternative behaviors to gambling. CM will focus on encouraging patients to avoid gambling. Participants in the CBT and CM group will receive voucher incentives for completing homework assignments and engaging in non-gambling social activities. The vouchers will allow participants to take part in non-gambling activities of their choice. Changes in gambling activities and problems will be assessed with self-report scales and interviews at study start and at Weeks 10, 24, and 52.

Participants will be asked to identify at least one person who knows about their gambling and will have regular contact with them over the 12 months of the study. This person will be interviewed at study start and at Months 2, 6, and 12. Contact persons will be asked about participants' gambling behaviors, personal relationships, legal problems, use of health care and mental health services, and how the participant can be contacted if he or she moves.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of pathological gambling
  • At least 1 gambling episode within 30 days prior to study entry
  • Able to read English at a 5th grade level
  • Willing and able to comply with all study requirements

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Uncontrolled psychiatric conditions
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00118391

United States, Connecticut
University of Connecticut Health Center
Farmington, Connecticut, United States, 06030
Sponsors and Collaborators
UConn Health
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Nancy M. Petry, PhD UConn Health
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Nancy Petry, PhD, University of Connecticut Health Center Identifier: NCT00118391     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01MH060417-02 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: July 6, 2005
Last Updated: June 28, 2013

Keywords provided by UConn Health:
Pathological Gambling

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 26, 2017