Effect of a Brief Meditation Intervention on Gambling Cravings and Rates of Delay Discounting

  • N. Will SheadEmail author
  • Anne Sophie Champod
  • Arthur MacDonald
Original Article


Meditation practice may be a useful intervention to reduce cravings and impulsivity among gamblers. Fifty-nine participants (90% female, mean age = 21.6 years) completed pre-intervention questionnaires including the Gambling Craving Scale (GACS) and a delay discounting task. Next, they were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) audio-guided mindfulness-based meditation exercises or (2) audiobook recordings (control condition). After listening to 10-min daily audio recordings for a week, participants completed post-intervention measures. Contrary to hypothesis, gambling measures were not correlated with delay discounting. However, dispositional mindfulness was inversely related to a self-report measure of impulsivity and problem gambling severity. The hypothesized interaction between time (pre- vs. post-intervention) and condition (meditation exercises vs. audiobook recordings) was significant for gambling cravings among gamblers (n = 39), with those in the meditation condition showing a significant reduction in gambling cravings which highlights the potential benefits of meditation practice to reduce gambling cravings.


Meditation Mindfulness Gambling cravings Delay discounting 


Funding information

This research was supported by an internal research grant from the institution of the lead author.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMount Saint Vincent UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyAcadia UniversityWolfvilleCanada

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