Psychological treatments for problem gambling (PROGRESS) study: 12 month outcomes

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

About the study

A randomised controlled trial was conducted to examine the effectiveness of four psychological treatments for problem gambling:

  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • motivational interviewing
  • behaviour therapy
  • client-centred therapy.

The study, one of the largest ever conducted examining treatments for problem gambling, also included a qualitative component examining the experiences of gamblers taking part in the study. The results in the report are based on 12 month follow up data.

Highlights of the report

  • There was a large and significant decrease in gambling symptom severity from baseline to 12 month follow up for all treatment groups.
  • There was a significant decrease in all three measures of gambling behaviour (frequency, time and expenditure) from baseline to twelve month follow up for all treatment groups. In the pre-treatment phase the participants gambled on average on 17.8 days in a four week period whereas immediately post treatment the average number of days gambled was 9.33 days and at 12 months it was 9.82.  Average spend decreased from $4,320 at baseline to $1,891 at twelve month follow up.
  • The results of the study imply that each year, as a result of the treatments provided, an “average” participant in the study would gamble on 104 less days, spend 243 less hours gambling and they would save $31,577 per year in gambling losses.
  • Results did not differ significantly between the four treatment groups. This means that it is likely that all four manualised treatments are equally effective in responding to problem gambling.
  • The clinician who provided the treatment, and the presence of co-occurring conditions such as depression and anxiety, were not associated with significant differences in outcomes.

Read a summary of the 6 month outcomes of the same trial

Download the report

Psychological treatments for problem gambling (PROGRESS) study: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial and qualitative study – 12 month outcomes and final report (PDF - 2667.9 KB)

How to cite this report

Thomas, S, Jackson, A, Browning, C, Feldman, S, Radermacher, H, Enticott, J, Merkouris, S 2017, Psychological treatments for problem gambling (PROGRESS) study: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial and qualitative study – 12 month outcomes and final report, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne

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