Posted on February 7, 2019
This is a study by CAMH, the leading mental health research hospital in Canada. Learn more about what's involved in participating in a study at CAMH Research Connect.
Although treatment services are widely available in Ontario, research shows that only three per cent of people with gambling problems seek out professional treatment in their lifetime. Barriers to accessing treatment include financial hardship, lack of daycare, shift work, long-distance travel, and mobility and sensory disabilities.
To fill in this gap, a team of interdisciplinary professionals at CAMH set out to explore the possibility of an online treatment service for problem gambling. For the past year, Dr. Nigel Turner, who is leading this study, and his team at CAMH have been developing a new Internet-based treatment intervention as part of a pilot project between the Institute of Mental Health Policy Research and the Gambling, Gaming, and Technology Use teams at CAMH.
In this study, participants will be evaluated at the beginning and end of their participation in an 8-week pilot program called Skills for Change Online, an online version of the multi-phase Skills for Change in-person group program available as part of CAMH Treatment Services. The program covers a broad range of topics, including goal setting, identification of coping strategies, concurrent disorders, and relapse prevention. It is evidence-based, and uses a cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approach.
This study uses OnCall Health, a virtual healthcare platform for providing online counseling and telemedicine. Through the secure video calling function in the platform, study participants will be able to interact with CAMH therapists and the other members of their Skills for Change Online group, as they would in an in-person group. In addition, therapists can assign worksheets and distribute handouts to the group. Self-reflection using worksheets and journals is a vital cognitive therapy technique.
The Skills for Change Online pilot study offers people with gambling problems access to a treatment service that is provided entirely online, secure, therapist-guided, and evidence-based.
The study is open to people who are 18 years or older and identify as having problems with gambling.
If you are interested in participating, please call us toll-free line at 1-833-323-7722, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the study, see our CAMH study listing.
CAMH REB number: 074-2018