Few studies have been conducted on the long-term evolution of gambling disorder (GD). The aim of this study was to identify factors that could predict GD relapse.
Data were part of a dataset from a large 5-year cohort of gamblers who were assessed at inclusion and each year thereafter. Participants were recruited from an outpatient addiction treatment center, from various gambling places and through the press. For this specific study, inclusion criteria included (i) transitioning from GD to recovery at a follow-up time and (ii) undergoing at least one follow-up visit afterwards. Participants were evaluated using a structured clinical interview and self-report questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, gambling and clinical characteristics. “Relapse” was defined as the presence of GD (according to the DSM-5) at the N+1 th visit following the absence of GD at the N th visit. A Markov model-based approach was employed to examine predictive factors associated with relapse at a subsequent follow-up visit.
The sample consisted of 87 participants, aged 47.6 years (sd = 12.6), who were predominantly male (65%). Among the participants, 49 remained in recovery, whereas 38 relapsed. Participants who reported not having experienced at least one month of abstinence and those with a low level of self-directedness at the previous follow-up visit were more likely to relapse.