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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gambling

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute Identifier:
First received: June 14, 2006
Last updated: January 4, 2010
Last verified: January 2010
The purpose of the study is to evaluate a new form of counseling for pathological gambling and to see if the counseling is more effective than attending Gamblers Anonymous.

Condition Intervention Phase
Pathological Gambling
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral: Wait-list
Phase 2

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

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • PG-YBOCS [ Time Frame: At each visit prior to and after therapy has been completed ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Time spent gambling [ Time Frame: At each visit prior to and after therapy has been completed ]

Enrollment: 76
Study Start Date: June 2006
Study Completion Date: June 2009
Primary Completion Date: June 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Weekly Cognitive Behavior therapy
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
5-weeks of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Other Name: CBT
Subjects in wait-list for six-weeks
Behavioral: Wait-list
subjects assigned to wait-list condition for six-weeks

Detailed Description:

Subjects will be assigned to counseling or be given a referral list of available Gamblers Anonymous meetings at the first visit based on answers to questions. Assignment to counseling or Gamblers Anonymous will be randomly selected (i.e. chance) with an equal chance of receiving either one. For those assigned to counseling, you will meet with the therapist for 60 minutes weekly. You will receive 5 sessions of counseling.

All subjects will be assessed with gambling questionnaires twice during the 5-week period and again at 3 and 6 months following the 5-week period.

For those assigned to Gamblers Anonymous, they will be offered 5 weeks of counseling at the end of the 6-month follow-up.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Outpatient men and women age 18 to 75
  2. Presence of current DSM-IV pathological gambling for at least 6 months duration
  3. PG is the most problematic psychiatric disorder (in the patient's and clinician's opinion) and the primary reason for seeking treatment
  4. Minimum score of >5 on the South Oaks Gambling Screen which reflects gambling severity consistent with pathological gambling

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Current clinically significant suicidality, severe depression (a score of ≥ 19 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, 17-item version)(30) or any other disorder requiring immediate intervention
  2. Presence of any clinical features requiring a higher level of care than outpatient treatment
  3. Cognitive impairment that interferes with the capacity to engage in CBT or to provide informed consent
  4. DSM-IV substance abuse or dependence within the past 3 months (see Screening Visit)
  5. Current Axis I diagnosis of bipolar disorder or psychotic disorder
  6. Previous treatment of CBT for PG (duration of at least 6 sessions); because CBT is not widely used for PG, a minimum of 6 treatments will be rare.
  7. Current use of psychotropic medications or within 2 months prior to study entry.
  8. Current participation in Gambler's Anonymous (GA).
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00337753

United States, Minnesota
University of Minnesota Medical Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55454
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Jon E Grant, MD, JD University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jon E. Grant, University of Minnesota Identifier: NCT00337753     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 0503M68191
K23MH069754-01A1 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: June 14, 2006
Last Updated: January 4, 2010

Keywords provided by University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 28, 2017