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Exploration of intervention strategies to reduce public stigma associated with gambling disorder
journal contributionposted on 2020-06-02, 00:00 authored by KL Brown, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell
Stigma associated with gambling disorder is complex, and is a key obstacle that prevents sufferers from seeking early help for their condition. However, little research has addressed how best to reduce gambling stigma. This study explored the effectiveness of video intervention styles, that have been used to reduce public stigma for conditions such as mental illness and substance use disorders. This was done to determine which would be most suitable, considering the unique characteristics of gambling disorder. An online survey of 164 people living in Australia was conducted which examined attitudes toward gamblers experiencing problems before and after an intervention. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three interventions (contact, education, advocacy) or a control video. The study found that each intervention was associated with changes to different components of stigma. Importantly, the education intervention increased labelling, but reduced stereotype endorsement and anger. Advocacy also reduced anger, attributions of character flaws, and anticipated discrimination and recoverability. While these interventions were generally effective at reducing stigma, the contact intervention was mixed, effectively intervening for some aspects of stigma, but increasing stigma on others. No single intervention reduced all aspects of stigma, suggesting that a complementary approach utilising specific elements of each intervention style could be used to deliver relevant information and effectively reduce stigma. Taken together, this suggests that research should be conducted into comprehensive, combined interventions, that include aspects of all three intervention styles, in an attempt to reduce more aspects of stigma simultaneously.
Number of Pages21