Mindfulness and problem gambling treatment

Mindfulness originated from Buddhist contemplative practice 2500 years ago. Mindfulness has increasingly been integrated into a variety of health care programs to address issues such as chronic pain, mental health problems, and addictions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of teaching problem gamblers about mindfulness meditation as part of regular treatment for problem gambling. The study evaluated an 8-week mindfulness group program that included 17 clients from the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (88% male) using questionnaires that were distributed before the first group session and after the final group session. The evaluation was a mixed method design that included both qualitative and quantitative feedback about the group. All of the participants showed an improvement in their levels of mindfulness after the 8-week treatment program. The Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) scores increased from a pre-test score of 3.65 (SD = 1.01) to a post-test score of 4.40 (SD = 0.78). Qualitative feedback about the group also highlighted a number of improvements in the clients’ lives that included being more in control, relaxed and able to stay in the now. The results indicated that mindfulness was successfully taught during the 8-week group program. This study evaluated the suitability of mindfulness as an intervention as part of a problem gambling treatment service. However, the study did not evaluate whether mindfulness improved the clients’ ability to resist relapse. Future studies are needed to examine the long-term impact of mindfulness sessions.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.