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Problem gamblers often engage in few social activities other than gambling and post-treatment, can be left with considerable unstructured time and inadequate social skills. As relapse often occurs when the gambler is alone, removing or cutting back on gambling is unlikely to be a successful treatment strategy if recreational and social alternatives are unavailable. The Re(Making) Meaning project provided a structured re-engagement program for 30 participants considered at risk of relapse. In this nine-month, 18-event life-style enhancement project, offered as an adjunct to individual counselling, participants completed a range of gambling and social measures at commencement, 6 months, and 12 months. Substantial positive change in the Temptation to Gamble Scale, Work and Social Adjustment Scale, Self-Esteem, Anxiety, and Loneliness scales were achieved. It is recommended that this proof of concept study of leisure substitution for problem gambling is replicated in a controlled study to determine its relative effectiveness.


Centre for Health and Social Research

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Journal Article

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