A Measure to Assess Illness Awareness in Problem Gambling: Gambling Awareness and Insight Scale (GAS)

J Gambl Stud. 2022 Sep;38(3):1029-1043. doi: 10.1007/s10899-021-10037-y. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


Impaired subjective awareness of problem gambling may act as a barrier to help-seeking and treatment adherence. However, the impact of impaired problem gambling awareness on clinical and social outcomes has received little empirical study. The aim of this study was to develop and investigate the psychometric properties of a novel scale that measures impaired illness awareness in individuals with problem gambling. We developed the Gambling Awareness and Insight Scale (GAS), a self-report measure that assesses the core theoretical constructs of illness awareness in problem gambling, namely General Disorder or Problem Awareness, Accurate Symptom Attribution, Awareness of Need for Treatment and the Negative Consequences attributable to problem gambling ( www.illnessawarenessscales.com ). Data were acquired from an online survey platform, Dynata, to evaluate the psychometric properties of the GAS. A total of 100 participants aged 18 years or older with problem gambling defined by a score of 4 or more on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) Pathological Gambling Diagnostic Form were included. The GAS demonstrated good convergent (r = 0.57, p < 0.001) and discriminant validity (r = - 0.18, p = 0.080). It also demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.80) and one-month test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation = 0.86). An exploratory factor analysis suggested retention of two components. The GAS is a novel psychometric tool designed to evaluate impaired subjective illness awareness in problem gambling. Initial evidence suggests that the GAS can be used in research and clinical settings to evaluate the impact of impaired problem gambling awareness on adherence to treatment programs, clinical and psychosocial outcomes. Replication in applied settings is needed.

Keywords: Gambling disorder; Illness awareness; Illness denial; Insight into illness; Problem gambling.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Gambling* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires