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Sex Differences in the Rates of Recovery, Treatment-Seeking, and Natural Recovery in Pathological Gambling: Results From an Australian Community-Based Twin Survey

  • Wendy S. Slutske (a1), Alex Blaszczynski (a2) and Nicholas G. Martin (a3)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to estimate the rates of recovery, treatment-seeking, and natural recovery from pathological gambling (PG) in men and women in a community-based national survey, and to examine the role of gambling problem recognition in recovery from PG. Participants were 4,764 individuals from a community-based Australian national twin registry (104 with a lifetime history of PG) who were administered a structured psychiatric telephone interview. Women were more likely than men to recover from (56% versus 36%; odds ratio = 2.3) and to seek treatment for PG (32% versus 13%; odds ratio = 3.2). Most individuals who recovered from PG did so without treatment (82%), but this was higher among men than among women (92% versus 57%; odds ratio = 5.3). This is the first study to document sex differences in treatment-seeking and recovery from PG. These findings highlight the value in continuing to develop self-help and brief treatments for PG that will appeal to those who are unlikely to seek formal help.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Wendy S. Slutske, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, 210 McAlester Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211.

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