The Prevalence of Comorbid Personality Disorders in Treatment-Seeking Problem Gamblers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Nicki A Dowling, S Cowlishaw, A C Jackson, S S Merkouris, K L Francis, D R Christensen
Journal of Personality Disorders 2015, 29 (6): 735-54
The aim of this study was to systematically review and meta-analyze the prevalence of comorbid personality disorders among treatment-seeking problem gamblers. Almost one half (47.9%) of problem gamblers displayed comorbid personality disorders. They were most likely to display Cluster B disorders (17.6%), with smaller proportions reporting Cluster C disorders (12.6%) and Cluster A disorders (6.1%). The most prevalent personality disorders were narcissistic (16.6%), antisocial (14.0%), avoidant (13.4%), obsessive-compulsive (13.4%), and borderline (13.1%) personality disorders. Sensitivity analyses suggested that these prevalence estimates were robust to the inclusion of clinical trials and self-selected samples. Although there was significant variability in reported rates, subgroup analyses revealed no significant differences in estimates of antisocial personality disorder according to problem gambling severity, measure of comorbidity employed, and study jurisdiction. The findings highlight the need for gambling treatment services to conduct routine screening and assessment of co-occurring personality disorders and to provide treatment approaches that adequately address these comorbid conditions.

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