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Clarifying the at-risk label: A commentary

Blas_ Gambino

Abstract


The at-risk concept is described and its use in the literature on pathological gambling is discussed. An epidemiologic perspective is proposed and the use of risk, at-risk, and not-at-risk are discussed within this framework. It is shown that within the epidemiologic framework the concept of risk applies to nongamblers as well as gamblers, and some nongamblers are theoretically at risk. An example of the application of risk is provided within the context of smoking and the meaning of risk. The frequent assignment of gamblers with scores of 1 or 2 into the same category as those who score 0 is viewed as problematic and is discussed in terms of true negatives and false negatives and the likelihood of pathological gambling among these gamblers. The need for researchers to identify the determinants and indicators of risk is stressed.


Keywords


risk; at-risk; not-at-risk; false negatives; true negatives; severity; symptom assessment; nongamblers

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2006.16.5

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