Objective: Gambling has exploded in popularity, but pathological gambling (PG) is infrequently diagnosed. The objectives of this study were to calculate the prevalence of PG in a psychiatry clinic, to determine whether PG is underdiagnosed, and to analyze risk factors for PG.
Methods: A survey was completed by 584 outpatients presenting to the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth psychiatry clinic over 6 months. Epidemiological data, smoking status, and alcohol use were assessed, and the South Oaks Gambling Screen was administered.
Results: The prevalence of PG determined with the South Oaks Gambling Screen was 1.4%. The electronically documented prevalence of PG was 0.04%. Male subjects, smokers, and subjects with an alcohol problem were more likely to have a gambling problem. Active duty members did not have statistically significantly higher rates of PG.
Conclusions: PG is markedly underdiagnosed. Military members are not at elevated risk for PG, relative to their dependents. Further research and greater awareness of PG are needed.