Routine screening for gambling disorder and gambling-related harm within mental health and drug and alcohol services: A feasibility and pilot study

Funding body NIHR Policy Research Programme
Total funding £426,853.36
Team Professor Amanda Roberts, University of Lincoln
Dr Zahid Asghar, University of Lincoln
Dr Stephen Sharman, King’s College London
Dr Jim Rogers, University of Lincoln
Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones ,University of Cambridge
Team/consortium University of Lincoln
Kings College London
University of Cambridge
National Problem Gambling Clinic
Overarching aim To ascertain the feasibility of introducing gambling screening in mental health and drug and alcohol services and what the facilitators and barriers are in both screening and referral.
Objectives  How appropriate are mental health and drug and alcohol services in England for identifying, and referring people experiencing gambling disorder and gambling-related harm?
What are the most optimal screening tools for determining prevalence of harmful gambling in different services?
To determine the most appropriate screening tool for harmful (both at-risk and problem gambling) and what the optimal referral pathway would look like for those that need help.
To test if screening will identify substantial proportions of individuals who are experiencing harmful gambling.
To pilot data collection using the most optimal screens within the services to determine the prevalence of:
a. users of mental health services experiencing harmful gambling.
b. users of drug and alcohol services experiencing harmful gambling.
  1. A study to find out if staff and patients in those services are happy to talk about gambling, and how they feel about asking/ being asked. We will find out what may help and what the problems may be around asking and where people may go for gambling treatment if they need it. We will also find out the best way of checking for gambling problems. The main way is to use a questionnaire called the Problem Gambling Severity Index, but we will also ask if the people in the services like shorter ones better as they may be quicker to use.
  2. A study to find out what happens when we use the 2-3 questionnaires most liked in the study above. We will find out which one is the best to use by seeing how many harmful gamblers are found, and if they are more likely to be seen in mental health services over drugs and alcohol services or the opposite. We hope to use data already collected by the service (e.g., mental health) to find out who may be most at risk of harmful gambling.
Outcomes Most appropriate screening tool for harmful (both at-risk and problem) gambling and what the optimal referral pathway would look like for those that need help.
Outputs The findings will be published and disseminated through NIHR reports, conferences, in journals and in the media.
Impact We envisage the study will inform:

  • Policy change
  • Gambling related support services
  • Improved mental health of people affected by gambling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *