Deakin University
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Online support needs and experiences of family members affected by problem gambling

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posted on 2017-04-01, 00:00 authored by Simone RoddaSimone Rodda, D Lubman, Nicki DowlingNicki Dowling
Online support needs and experiences of family members affected by problem gambling



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Australian Institute of Family Studies

Place of publication

Canberra, A.C.T.





Research statement

The harms associated with problem gambling are significant and affect not only the person with problem gambling, but their family and friends. As family members infrequently seek help, attempts to increase rates of help seeking among this group included implementation of a number of low-intensity and self-directed treatment options in Australia and internationally. In Australia, the most frequent low-intensity intervention accessed by family members is e-therapy which includes chat and email counselling delivered by Gambling Help Online. While this service been available for more than five years in Australia, it remains unevaluated. Therefore, the current study aimed to describe the experience of family members seeking help online. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were employed to investigate the characteristics of families seeking help, effect of gambling on the family member, help seeking in the past, types of therapy accessed and reasons for accessing. Sixty-two family members were included in the analysis. Findings included a range of effects of a family members gambling on the individual, a range of supports accessed and e-therapy options including chat, email, forums and self-help information. Reasons for accessing support included psychoeducation, approaching the family member with a gambling problem and how to encourage help seeking. The findings suggest family members experience a significant range of gambling related harms and access help for a variety of reasons. The findings also highlight areas for gambling service systems to be enhanced and suggestions for tailoring these services to the needs of family members.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper

Copyright notice

2017, Commonwealth of Australia

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