GRA commissioned Monash University to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on early Intervention and prevention for problem gambling.
The purpose of the study was to determine which primary prevention measures work, which do not work and why. A literature search was conducted to identify trials investigating the effectiveness of primary interventions on problem gambling. Using a systematic review approach, researchers assessed the eligibility and relevance of studies thereby reducing errors and results that may be due to chance or bias.
Thirteen studies were included in the review with a total of 20 outcomes recorded. However, only four of the outcomes were derived from sufficient similarity in intervention, sample and result area to be included in the meta-analysis. A meta-analysis was performed subsequently. Interventions used in the studies were delivered through a range of formats.
The findings of the study showed that
- interventions should be psycho-educational in order to increase awareness of risks associated with gambling and help develop coping and problem resolution skills
- the most promising and effective form of intervention was considered the video-activity lecture combination
- appropriate trained personnel are required to implement the intervention.
The authors caution (page 59 of the report) that the results from this study should be treated with caution as they are based on a small number of methodologically flawed studies.