Gamblers sought for new study
Wednesday, 3 April 2002
PROBLEM gamblers who have sought help for their addiction are needed for a new University of Adelaide study.
The study is being conducted by Department of Psychology Masters student Ms Lyn Evans, who says it aims to examine why problem gamblers seek help, with a view to possibly decreasing the large percentage of problem gamblers who do not request assistance.
Currently, 21% of South Australians who have a gambling problem think about seeking help, and only one-third of those actually go ahead and request it.
"Problem gamblers only usually seek help at the time of a crisis, like a family or relationship breakdown, financial ruin, and health problems including contemplating suicide," Ms Evans said.
"With this study, I'm hoping to talk to as many problem gamblers as I can who have sought help, and with the findings, possibly make it easier for others to seek help before they reach the crisis stage. I am interested in finding out what motivated people to overcome their gambling problems. What made it hard for them to seek help? Were they able to deal with the problem without formal counselling and treatment?
"Recent studies have shown that compared to the general population, problem gamblers are in significantly poorer physical and mental health, have higher rates of smoking and alcohol use, a higher incidence of psychological distress and were more than three time as likely to have contemplated suicide. Quite clearly it would be of enormous benefit to not only the people involved, but also society in general if we were able to decrease the number of problem gamblers because it was easier for them to seek help."
Ms Evans would like to talk to people who have previously or are presently seeking help for a gambling problem through counselling, self-help groups, or using a self-help method by themselves (such as self-help books, manuals or tapes). People who have stopped, or attempted to stop gambling without any assistance are also welcome to participate in the study.
Participants will be compensated for their time, with all information given being completely confidential (names or any other possible identifying information will not be required).
People wishing to participate, or to pass on information about someone they know who may qualify, can contact Ms Evans on 8270 6571, or 0413 792 465 (mobile), or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.