Impact of Survey Description, Administration Format, and Exclusionary Criteria on Population Prevalence Rates of Problem Gambling

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Williams, Robert J.
Volberg, Rachel A.
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The present study investigated the impact of survey administration format, survey description, and gambling behaviour thresholds on obtained population prevalence rates of problem gambling. A total of 3,028 adults were surveyed about their gambling behaviour, with half of these surveys administered face-to-face and half over the phone, and half of the surveys being described as a 'gambling survey' and half as a 'health and recreation' survey. Population prevalence rates of problem gambling using the CPGI were 133% higher in 'gambling' versus 'health and recreation' surveys and 55% higher in face-to-face administration compared to telephone administration. If people with less than $300 in annual gambling expenditures are not asked questions about problem gambling, then the obtained problem gambling prevalence rate is 42% lower. When all of these elements are aligned they result in markedly different problem gambling prevalence rates (4.1% versus 0.8%). The mechanisms for these effects and recommended procedures for future prevalence studies are discussed.
Sherpa Romeo green journal. Permission to archive accepted author manuscript.
Gambling -- Research , Gambling -- Ontario -- Kitchener , Compulsive Gambling -- Ontario -- Kitchener
Williams, R. J., & Volberg, R. A. (2009). Impact of survey description, administration format, and exclusionary criteria on population prevalence rates of problem gambling. International Gambling Studies, 9(2), 101-117. doi: 10.1080/14459790902911653