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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 571434, 15 pages
Research Article

Associations between Pathological Gambling and Psychiatric Comorbidity among Help-Seeking Populations in Hong Kong

1Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong
2Public Policy Research Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
3Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
4Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau
5Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children's Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
6Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Even Centre, Hong Kong

Received 28 September 2011; Accepted 8 November 2011

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2012 Daniel T. L. Shek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Problem gambling is complex and often comorbid with other mental health problems. Unfortunately, gambling studies on comorbid psychiatric disorders among Chinese communities are extremely limited. The objectives of this study were to (a) determine the prevalence of comorbid psychiatric disorders among treatment-seeking pathological gamblers; (b) compare the demographic profiles and clinical features of pathological gamblers with and without comorbid psychiatric disorders; (c) explore the associations between pathological gambling and psychiatric disorders and their temporal relationship. Participants ( 𝑁 = 2 0 1 ) who sought gambling counseling were examined by making Axis-I diagnoses including mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and adjustment disorder. Results showed that 63.7% of participants had lifetime comorbid psychiatric disorder. The most common comorbid psychiatric mental disorders were mood disorders, adjustment disorder, and substance use disorders. Pathological gamblers with psychiatric comorbidities were significantly more severe in psychopathology, psychosocial functioning impairment, and gambling problems than those without the disorders.