The UK Government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has published data that provides insight into problem gambling and its treatment. According to the findings, gambling harm is a significant issue in the UK, with almost 1.6 million adults standing to benefit from support that aims to treat problem gambling.
The estimates were made by researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Glasgow, and the results’ focus lies primarily on individuals suffering from problem gambling. The team utilised information from the Health Survey for England, which is conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) on an annual basis.
With the help of 22 gambling treatment providers who took part in a Delphi consensus survey led by the team, the researchers determined what treatment would be beneficial to gamblers based on a variety of factors, including individuals’ problem gambling severity index (PGSI) scores, alcohol use, and mental health. According to OHID, the findings will be utilised for the planning of problem gambling services as well as their improvement.
40,000 UK Adults May Require Intense Treatment
The forms of treatment outlined in the data are separated into six types of programs, starting from level one, that involves brief advice, and ending with level six, which gives individuals the opportunity to get help from peer support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, PeerAid, and other organisations.
The findings identified 970,000 adults as people who could be aided by two to three sessions that would involve counselling, known as motivational interviewing (MI) provided by gambling-specialist practitioners. This type of support is designated as “level two intensity” treatment. In contrast, the research team concluded that a treatment program specialised to address more severe cases of problem gambling, i.e., “level 4 intensity” treatment, could aid approximately 243,000 individuals. This type of healthcare is carried out by psychologists and involves cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), with the patient receiving help in the form of up to 14 sessions.
Finally, researchers found that 40,000 adults could see positive results if they were administered treatment that involves twelve weeks of both individual treatment and group therapy sessions. Such treatment programs fall under the “level 5 intensity” designation.
London Ranks First When it Comes to Problem Gambling
London is home to the highest number of adults who could see positive results if they were to receive help for their problem gambling issues, with estimates pointing to a rate of 3,835 per 100,000 individuals. This entails that over 266,700 Londoners are in need of treatment. In contrast, the region that ranks last according to the data is South East England, where 3,223 in 100,000 adults could benefit from support and treatment surrounding gambling issues. The point estimate figure for this region stands at 233,185.
Researchers also focused on how children are impacted by this issue, with data showing that an estimated 165,748 children in London live in households with at least one adult family member who might be facing gambling issues that warrant treatment. South East England is second when it comes to this data, as it was found that more than 134,000 children have a family that falls under the search team’s criteria. Finally, North East England is where the point estimate suggests that 43,301 children reside in a home with an adult who could be in need of problem gambling support.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.