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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment of Pathological Gambling

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
UConn Health Identifier:
First received: September 7, 2005
Last updated: June 28, 2013
Last verified: June 2013
This study will determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three different treatment strategies in reducing gambling behaviors.

Condition Intervention Phase
Gambling Behavioral: Referral to Gamblers Anonymous Behavioral: Cognitive behavioral therapy Behavioral: Cognitive behavioral self-help manual Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for 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
  • time spent gambling
  • days of non-gambling

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • psychosocial functioning

Estimated Enrollment: 231
Study Start Date: March 1998
Study Completion Date: November 2003
Primary Completion Date: November 2003 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

The number of pathological gamblers in the United States is steadily growing, leading to significant financial, psychological, and public health consequences. However, studies examining the effectiveness of treatment interventions for pathological gamblers are limited. This study will compare the effectiveness of three different treatment strategies, including referral to Gambler's Anonymous (GA), a self-help manual, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in reducing gambling behaviors and other problems related to pathological gambling.

This study will last 8 weeks. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three interventions. Group 1 participants will be referred to GA and 8 weeks of CBT, which focuses on teaching skills to help reduce gambling urges and develop alternative behaviors to gambling. Group 2 participants will be referred to GA and given an 8-week self-help manual. Group 3 participants will be referred to GA alone. Questionnaires will be used to assess participants' gambling behavior and any personal, legal, or health problems they may be experiencing. The questionnaires will be completed at study entry, study completion, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up visits.

Participants will be asked to identify at least one person who knows about their gambling problem and will have regular contact with them during the study and for at least 1 year This person will be interviewed at the beginning of the study, and at Months 2, 6 and 12. Researchers will ask contact persons 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
  • 3 or more gambling episodes within 60 days prior to study entry

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to read English at the 5th grade level
  • Uncontrolled psychiatric condition
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00158314

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: NCT00158314     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01MH060417-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: September 7, 2005
Last Updated: June 28, 2013

Keywords provided by UConn Health:
Pathological gambling
Gambler's anonymous
Cognitive behavioral therapy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on September 21, 2017