Predictors of Engaging in Problem Gambling Treatment: Data From the West Virginia Problem Gamblers Help Network

Jeremiah Weinstock, Steve Burton, Carla J. Rash, Sheila Moran, Warren Biller, Norman Krudelbach, Natalie Phoenix, Benjamin J. Morasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Gambling help-lines are an essential access point, or frontline resource, for treatment seeking. This study investigated treatment engagement after calling a gambling help-line. From 2000-2007 over 2,900 unique callers were offered an in-person assessment appointment. Logistic regression analyses assessed predictors of (a) accepting the referral to the in-person assessment appointment and (b) attending the in-person assessment appointment. Over 76% of callers accepted the referral and 55% of all callers attended the in-person assessment appointment. This treatment engagement rate is higher than typically found for other help-lines. Demographic factors and clinical factors such as gender, severity of gambling problems, amount of gambling debt, and coercion by legal and social networks predicted engagement in treatment. Programmatic factors such as offering an appointment within 72 hr also aided treatment engagement. Results suggest gambling help-lines can be a convenient and confidential way for many individuals with gambling problems to access gambling-specific treatment. Alternative services such as telephone counseling may be beneficial for those who do not engage in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Gambling
  • Initiation
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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