Exploring the Association between Gambling-Related Offenses, Substance Use, Psychiatric Comorbidities, and Treatment Outcome

Cristina Vintró-Alcaraz, Gemma Mestre-Bach, Roser Granero, Elena Caravaca, Mónica Gómez-Peña, Laura Moragas, Isabel Baenas, Amparo del Pino-Gutiérrez, Susana Valero-Solís, Milagros Lara-Huallipe, Bernat Mora-Maltas, Eduardo Valenciano-Mendoza, Elías Guillen-Guzmán, Ester Codina, José M. Menchón, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Susana Jiménez-Murcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Several studies have explored the association between gambling disorder (GD) and gambling-related crimes. However, it is still unclear how the commission of these offenses influences treatment outcomes. In this longitudinal study we sought: (1) to explore sociodemographic and clinical differences (e.g., psychiatric comorbidities) between individuals with GD who had committed gambling-related illegal acts (differentiating into those who had had legal consequences (n = 31) and those who had not (n = 55)), and patients with GD who had not committed crimes (n = 85); and (2) to compare the treatment outcome of these three groups, considering dropouts and relapses. Several sociodemographic and clinical variables were assessed, including the presence of substance use, and comorbid mental disorders. Patients received 16 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Patients who reported an absence of gambling-related illegal behavior were older, and showed the lowest GD severity, the most functional psychopathological state, the lowest impulsivity levels, and a more adaptive personality profile. Patients who had committed offenses with legal consequences presented the highest risk of dropout and relapses, higher number of psychological symptoms, higher likelihood of any other mental disorders, and greater prevalence of tobacco and illegal drugs use. Our findings uphold that patients who have committed gambling-related offenses show a more complex clinical profile that may interfere with their adherence to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4669
Pages (from-to)4669
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022


  • substance use
  • gambling-related offenses
  • personality
  • psychopathology
  • relapse
  • dropout
  • impulsivity
  • gambling disorder
  • psychiatric comorbidity


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