Indexed on: 15 May '18Published on: 15 May '18Published in: Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany))
Despite extensive psychosocial consequences, just a small number of pathological gamblers participates in counseling or treatment. Telephone helplines should facilitate pathological gamblers' access to the health care system. There is a lack of research on the use and the effects of such facilities in Germany. The present research focuses on the question whether telephone helplines facilitate pathological gamblers' access to the health care system. All first time calls due to a gambling problem received by the behavioral addiction helpline of the University Medical Center Mainz between 2013 and 2016 were analyzed by SPSS. Of the 773 calls analyzed, 89% were from male gamblers. 79.7% reported gambling in slot machine arcades as the primary problem. 66.6% received a referral for a diagnostic in-person assessment at the outpatient clinic for behavioral addiction of the University Medical Center Mainz. 80.4% made an appointment, of which 81.3% were kept. Men were more likely to keep the appointment. Only a few callers had found out about the behavioral addiction helpline by gambling providers. Telephone helplines facilitate pathological gamblers' access to the health care system.There is a deficit in the propagation of such an offer by gambling providers. Telephone helplines should be communicated more actively to problem gamblers in all gambling venues. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.