The aim of this study is to do a critical review of the literature concerning clinical characteristics of female pathological gamblers (PGs) compared to males. We searched Medline/PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, The Cochrane Library, Sociological Abstracts and Gender Studies databases from 1970 to 2007 for clinical issues related to female PGs. Although gambling treatment dates several decades, few empirically supported treatments for pathological gambling have been developed. This critical review includes only controlled treatment.
Treatment Of Pathological Gambling A Critical Review Of The Literature Review
The legalization and availability of new forms of gambling are increasing in most Western countries. This trend has contributed to the fact that more individuals are developing gambling problems. As a result, there is a need for effective treatments. Although gambling treatment dates several decades, few empirically supported treatments for pathological gambling have been developed. This critical review includes only controlled treatment studies. The primary inclusion criterion was randomization of participants to an experimental group and to at least 1 control group. Eleven studies were identified and evaluated. Key findings showed that cognitive–behavioral studies received the best empirical support. Recommendations to improve gambling treatment research include better validated psychometric mea-sures, inclusion of process measures, better definition of outcomes, and more precise definition of treatments. The legalization of new types of gambling, which can be defined as an attempt to win money by staking money on an uncertain event, is increasing in most Western countries. With prevalence rates hovering between 1 % and 2%, the increased availability of gambling is expected to lead to greater numbers of people devel-oping gambling problems. Pathological gambling was officially recognized in 1980 with the publication of the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980); it was classified as an impulse control disorder. Pathological gambling is characterized by a loss of control over gambling, deception about the extent of one’s involvement with gambling, family and job disruption, theft, and chasing losses, or the effort to win back money lost while gambling (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). It is now acknowledged that the prevalence of pathological gambling is related to the availability of gambling opportunities, legal or illegal