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Minimal and Brief Treatments for Pathological Gamblers

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00203645
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 20, 2005
Last Update Posted : February 16, 2009
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Information provided by:
University of Calgary

Brief Summary:
The purpose of the study is to examine whether problem gamblers who receive therapy calls in addition to a self-help manual will be more likely to quit or cut back on their gambling when compared with problem gamblers who receive just the manual.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pathological Gambling Behavioral: Self-help treatment Phase 3

Detailed Description:

With gambling becoming more accessible, the occurrence of problems related to gambling are on the rise. The costs of problem gambling are enormous.There are social and economic costs, the gambler can sometimes lose a significant relationship, job, or commit an illegal activity. Pathological gamblers are also at risk for developing a general medical condition related to stress. There is a high risk of suicide and problem gamblers also have increased rates of mental health disorders. Relatively few people choose to attend formal treatment programs so it's important to provide a range of options to make treatment more accessible. The present study examines the effectiveness of minimal and brief interventions delivered by the telephone.

Comparison(s): The "Workbook Only Control" condition involves receiving the self-help booklet through the mail after a brief telephone assessment. The "Minimal Treatment" condition involves receiving the same workbook but also having a motivational enhancement intervention by telephone. The "Brief Treatment" condition provides the workbook, motivational enhancement, and follow-up support on six occasions spread over 36 weeks. The "Wait List Control" condition involves participants being assigned to a six week waiting list. Participants are assessed and after a six week waiting period they will have a reassessment at which time they will be sent the gambling self-help workbook.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 312 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Minimal and Brief Treatments for Pathological Gamblers: Developing Effective Treatment Systems
Study Start Date : July 2003
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2006
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Brief self-directed treatment
self-help workbook plus motivational telephone intervention
Behavioral: Self-help treatment
Workbook "Becoming a Winner",
Other Names:
  • Bibliotherapy
  • motivational interviewing

Experimental: Self-directed plus telephone support
Self-help workbook, motivational telephone intervention plus telephone booster calls
Behavioral: Self-help treatment
Workbook "Becoming a Winner",
Other Names:
  • Bibliotherapy
  • motivational interviewing

Active Comparator: Workbook only
Workbook only
Behavioral: Self-help treatment
Workbook "Becoming a Winner",
Other Names:
  • Bibliotherapy
  • motivational interviewing

No Intervention: Waitlist
Six week waitlist

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Days of Gambling [ Time Frame: 3,6,9 12 months ]
  2. Money lost [ Time Frame: 3,6,9 12 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Gambling problem severity [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  2. Psychiatric symptoms [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
  3. Self-efficacy [ Time Frame: 3,6,9,12 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Over age 17
  • Perception of a gambling problem and a score of 3 or higher (moderate risk) on the Canadian Problem Gambling Index.
  • Not involved in treatment at present.
  • Willingness to read a short book written in English as a major treatment.
  • Willing to have telephone contacts recorded.
  • Willing to provide follow-up data on gambling.
  • Willing to provide the name of a collateral to help locate them for follow-up interviews.
  • Must have gambled at least once in the past month

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participants in the preliminary study will be excluded.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00203645

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Canada, Alberta
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Calgary
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
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Principal Investigator: David C Hodgins, PhD. University of Calgary

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Responsible Party: David Hodgins, UCalgary Identifier: NCT00203645     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 110328 - CIHR
1016 - OPGRC
First Posted: September 20, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 16, 2009
Last Verified: February 2009
Keywords provided by University of Calgary:
Problem gambling
Self-help manual
Motivation enhancement
Telephone support
Pathological gambling
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders