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Problem gambling: what do general practitioners need to know and do about it?

Shane A Thomas, Leon Piterman and Alun C Jackson
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (3): 135-136.
Published online: 4 August 2008

GPs can play a crucial role in screening for problem gambling

Problem gambling is a significant mental health problem in Australia. Estimates of the prevalence of serious gambling problems in Australia range from 1% to 2% of the general adult population, with higher rates in specific groups.1 An estimated 2.5%–5% of the Australian adult population display at-risk gambling behaviour (according to standard diagnostic criteria).1 The prevalence of problem gambling exceeds that of stroke and coronary heart disease, and is comparable with the estimated prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Australia.2

  • Shane A Thomas1,2
  • Leon Piterman1,3
  • Alun C Jackson2

  • 1 School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

The Victorian Government Department of Justice funds the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, which is co-directed by Shane Thomas and Alun Jackson. The Department had no involvement in study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and writing or publication of this editorial.

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