An Exploratory RCT to Support Gamblers’ Intentions to Stick to Monetary Limits: A Brief Intervention Using Action and Coping Planning
The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and impact of an action and coping planning intervention deployed in gambling venues to improve adherence to expenditure limits. We conducted a 2-group parallel-block randomised controlled trial comparing one 20-min session of action and coping planning to an assessment alone. Gamblers who were intending to set a monetary limit on EGMs (n = 184) were recruited in venues and administered the intervention prior to gambling. Measures were adherence to self-identified gambling limits and adherence to expenditure intentions at 30-days post-intervention using the Time Line Follow-Back. The intervention was feasible in terms of recruitment and willingness of gamblers to engage in a pre-gambling intervention. Most gamblers enacted strategies to limit their gambling prior to entering the venue, albeit these limits were on average higher than the Australian low risk gambling guidelines. In terms of impact, the intervention did not improve adherence to limits at post or 30-day follow-up assessment. However, Moderate Risk/Problem Gamblers in the Intervention group spent less (a median of $60 less) than intended (median $100) within the venue. All intervention participants intended to spend significantly less in the 30 days after the intervention compared to the amount spent in the 30 days prior to the intervention. This reduction was not found for participants in the control group. A simple brief intervention appears feasible in gambling venues and have an impact on gambling intentions over the short term.
KeywordsPrevention Intentions Self-regulation Pre-commitment Responsible gambling
This research was conducted with funding from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. We would like to thank gambling venues and their managers for allowing us to access their venues for participant recruitment. We would also like to acknowledge the research assistants who were involved in participant interviews.
All authors designed the study and wrote the protocol. KLB conducted the data analysis. SNR wrote the first draft of the manuscript and all authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.
Funding for this study was by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Australia (No. 06/216). VRGF had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare in relation to this article. Over the past 3 years, SR, KB, VM and DL have received funding from multiple sources, including government departments (Health Research Council NZ, NHMRC, ARC, VIC-Health) and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (through hypothecated taxes from gambling revenue). None of the authors have knowingly received research funding from the gambling industry or any industry-sponsored organization.
Research Involving Human Participants
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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