Motivators for change and barriers to help-seeking in Australian problem gamblers

J Gambl Stud. Summer 2005;21(2):133-55. doi: 10.1007/s10899-005-3029-4.

Abstract

Although prevalence studies consistently indicate that many thousands of Australians experience gambling-related problems, only a relatively small proportion of these people seek professional help. This study examines the principal motivations for, and impediments to, help-seeking in a sample of 77 problem gamblers recruited from agencies and the general community. The results indicated that profession help-seeking is predominantly crisis-driven rather than being motived by a gradual recognition of problematic behaviour. Shame, denial and social factors were identified as the most significant barriers to change rather than a lack of knowledge, or dislike of, treatment agencies. The value of early interventions including the screening of gamblers in routine medical consultations and partner support strategies is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Environment
  • South Australia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires