Pathological gambling (PG) is an impulse control disorder. This study assessed the burden of co-occurring behavioral addictions and mental health disorders in treatment-seeking patients and estimated the likelihood of receiving care for these disorders by clinician specialty.
Study data were derived from the Massachusetts All-Payer Claims Database, a representative database, for the period 2009–2013. The sample included commercially insured adult residents of Massachusetts. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to estimate the likelihood of provision of care by clinician specialty adjusting for patient’s demographic characteristics and level of care. Bonferroni correction was applied to adjust for multiple testing.
The study sample included 869 patients. Treatment-seeking patients who had a diagnosis of PG were mostly males (71%), aged 45–54 years (26.7%) and enrolled in a health maintenance organization (47%). The most prevalent co-occurring disorders among patients with PG as principal diagnosis were anxiety disorders (28%), mood disorders (26%), and substance use disorders (18%). PG was associated with a more than twofold likelihood of receiving care from social workers and psychologists ( p < .05). Depressive disorders were associated with a three times greater likelihood of receiving care from primary care physicians (PCPs) ( p < .05). Having three and four or more diagnosis was associated with a greater likelihood of receiving care from PCPs.