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Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 273–296 | Cite as

Motivators for Seeking Gambling-Related Treatment Among Ontario Problem Gamblers

  • Helen Suurvali
  • David C. Hodgins
  • Tony Toneatto
  • John A. Cunningham
Original Paper

Abstract

A random digit dialing telephone survey was used to interview 8,467 adults in Ontario, Canada. The NODS-CLiP was used to identify a representative sample of 730 gamblers (54.3% male, mean age 45.3 years) with possible past year gambling problems in order to explore factors that might affect disordered gamblers’ motivators for seeking gambling-related help. A final sample of 526 gamblers provided useable data on possible reasons for and barriers to seeking help, awareness of services, self-perception of gambling problems and experience with help-seeking. Financial and relationship issues were the most frequently volunteered motivators. However, over two-thirds of the respondents could not think of a reason for seeking help. Gamblers who had self-admitted or more severe problems, who knew how to get help, who were employed and had more education, and who identified possible barriers to seeking help were more likely to suggest motivators, especially financial ones. More research is recommended on gamblers’ trajectory towards recognition of a gambling problem, the process of overcoming specific barriers to treatment, and the role of social advantage (e.g., education and employment), in order to devise educational campaigns that will encourage earlier help-seeking among disordered gamblers.

Keywords

Problem or pathological gambling Motivators for help-seeking Awareness of services Population survey Canada 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, Guelph, Ontario. In addition, support to CAMH for salary of scientists and infrastructure has been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The telephone interviews in this study were conducted by staff of the Institute of Social Research, York University, Toronto, Ontario.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Suurvali
    • 1
  • David C. Hodgins
    • 2
  • Tony Toneatto
    • 3
  • John A. Cunningham
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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