Objectives: This preliminary study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for disordered gambling in participants receiving disability benefits (PRDB). Further, this study examined the relationship between gambling behavior severity and health functioning in this population.
Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 769 participants from the Leisure, Lifestyle, and Lifecycle Project, which included components of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (Short Form) and Canadian Community Health Survey, Short Form Health Survey (SF-8), and the Canadian Problem Gambling Index.
Results: PRDB (n=39) had a significantly higher prevalence of disordered gambling compared with participants not receiving disability benefits (15.8% vs. 3.5%, P=0.002). Significant risk factors for disordered gambling among PRDB included: fair/poor general health scores (SF-8) (odds ratio, 7.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 47.42), and physical limitation scores (SF-8) (odds ratio, 10.80; 95% confidence interval: 1.54, 75.70). Among PRDB, increased gambling severity was associated with decreased general health scores (SF-8) (F4,38=2.92, P=0.04) and increased physical limitation scores (SF-8) (F4,38=4.74, P=0.005).
Conclusions: These data indicate that PRDB have a higher rate of disordered gambling and that increased gambling severity is associated with decreased health functioning. Together, this suggests that PRDB may be at increased need of screening for disordered gambling and that disordered gamblers receiving disability benefits may have an increased need for treatments that reduce gambling and its associated problems.