Gambling problems in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Roberts, Amanda, Rogers, Jim, Steve, Sharman , GJ, Melendez-Torres and Sean, Cowlishaw (2021) Gambling problems in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction Research and Theory . ISSN 1606-6359

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Gambling problems in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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To synthesize evidence regarding gambling problems in primary care contexts as evidence suggests that problem gambling may be overrepresented. Objectives were to review all the available evidence regarding the frequency and implications of gambling problems in primary care. The latter were operationalized by covariates relating to physical and mental health that suggest clinical implications, as well as co-occurring addictive behaviors.

Peer-reviewed articles published in MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and sociological abstracts reporting data relating to gambling and associated problems were screened. Where possible, random-effects meta-analysis was used to combine study estimates.

The search identified 14 articles (based on 11 individual studies) from 1708 deduplicated records. Meta-analyses of data from 10 studies indicated around 3.0% of patients reported significant levels of problem gambling, although there was substantial heterogeneity and rates ranged from around 1 to 15% across studies. In contrast, there were few studies reporting findings relating to gambling problems across a broader continuum of severity, and there is little known about subclinical problems (i.e. at-risk gambling) in primary care. There was generally consistent evidence of links between problem gambling and poor mental health and co-occurring substance use problems. In contrast, there was less evidence regarding the physical health implications of problem gambling in primary care.

Primary care may provide an important environment for the detection of gambling problems and should identify patients reporting gambling problems across a continuum, consistent with principles of case finding; thereby targeting investigation on those suspected to be ‘at risk’.

Keywords:Primary care, Gambling, Problem gambling, At-risk gambling, Systematic review, Mental health
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:43915
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 13:41

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