Are there distinctive outcomes from self-exclusion? An exploratory study comparing gamblers who have self-excluded, received counselling, or both
Research has not determined whether typical improvements in psychosocial functioning following self-exclusion are due to the intervention. This study aimed to explore distinctive outcomes from self-exclusion by assessing outcomes between 1) self-excluders who had and had not received gambling counselling and 2) self-excluders compared to non-self-excluders who had received gambling counselling. A longitudinal design administered three assessments on gambling behaviour, problem gambling severity, gambling urge, alcoholism, general health, and harmful consequences. Of the 86 participants at Time 1 with similar baseline scores, 59.3 % completed all assessments. By Time 2, all groups (self-excluded only, self-excluded plus counselling, counselling only) had vastly improved on most outcome measures. Improvements were sustained at Time 3. Outcomes did not differ for self-exclusion combined with counselling. Compared to non-excluders, more self-excluders abstained from most problematic gambling form and fewer had harmful consequences. Findings suggest self-exclusion may have similar short-term outcomes to counselling alone and may reduce harm in the short-term.