Background: The utility of gambling screening tools as part of a public health framework is unexamined within the literature. Aim: identify and evaluate the gambling screening tools currently in use and examine their utility as part of a public health approach to harm reduction. Index tests: A range of problem gambling screening tools including the South Oak Gambling Screen (SOGS), the problem gambling severity index (PGSI) and others. Comparator: Reference standards ranging from a diagnostic clinical interview (DIGS) to screening tools such as the South Oak Gambling Screen and others. Findings: This review has identified a number of meaningful deficits regarding the overall quality of the psychometric testing employed when validating gambling screening tools. Primary among these was the lack of a consistent and reliable reference standard within many of the studies. Currently there is not a screening tool discussed in the literature that shows good utility in the domain of public health due to the focus on symptoms rather than risk factors. As such, these tools are generally ill-suited to identifying pre-clinical or low-risk gamblers. Conclusion: There is a need for a paradigm shift in the way gambling harm is conceptualised and measured to facilitate early identification and harm prevention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 2021

ID: 5015251