Treatment of Harmful Gambling: A Scoping Review of United Kingdom-Based Intervention Research

Christopher J. Seel, Matthew Jones, Darren R. Christensen, Richard May, Alice E. Hoon, Simon Dymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Understanding and treating the harm caused by gambling is a growing international psychiatric and public health challenge. Treatment of gambling harm may involve psychological and pharmacological intervention, in conjunction with peer support. This scoping review was conducted to identify, for the first time, the characteristics and extent of United Kingdom (UK) based gambling treatment research. We reviewed studies conducted among people seeking treatment for disordered or harmful gambling in the UK, the settings, research designs, and outcome measures used, and to identify any treatment research gaps.

Methods: Systematic searches of PsycInfo, PsycArticles, Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were carried out for gambling treatment research or evaluation studies conducted in the UK. Studies were included if they evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention or treatment designed to improve symptoms of harmful or problematic gambling, reported outcomes of interventions on treatment adherence, gambling symptoms, or behaviours using standardised measures, were conducted in the UK, and were published since 2000.

Results: Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Four were retrospective chart reviews, two were single-participant case reports, one described a retrospective case series, and one employed a cross-sectional design. None used an experimental design.

Conclusion: The limited number of studies included in this review highlights a relative paucity of gambling treatment research conducted in UK settings. Further work should seek to identify potential barriers and obstacles to conducting gambling treatment research in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Gambling
  • treatment
  • scoping review
  • United Kingdom


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