Strategic contingency management to enhance treatment outcomes for problem gamblers

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West, Beverly L.
University of Lethbridge. School of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, School of Health Sciences, 2008
Problem gambling is best understood from a biopsychosocial perspective, whereby multifaceted biological, psychological, and socio-environmental factors interact in ways that may lead to individual risk. Reinforcement contingencies and operant conditioning appear to play particularly important etiological roles. Theoretically, operant conditioning approaches should therefore comprise particularly effective treatment strategies. While operant conditioning in the form of contingency management is known to be an effective treatment for alcohol and substance abuse, it has never been applied by clinical practitioners in community-based treatment for problem gambling. The present pilot study explored the utility of adding concrete reward contingencies to community outpatient treatment, from the perspectives of clinical effectiveness and client/counsellor experiences. At 3-month follow-up, clinical outcomes compared well to typical treatment outcomes, and treatment retention appeared to be superior. Participating clients perceived concrete rewards to be moderately effective in the change process, while active therapist acceptance of this technique appeared to be limited.
xi, 186 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Dissertations, Academic , Compulsive gambling -- Treatment , Impulse control disorders -- Treatment , Compulsive gamblers -- Counseling of , Behavior modification