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An overview of prevalence surveys of problem and pathological gambling in the Nordic countries

Jakob Jonsson

Abstract


Estimates of the prevalence of gambling problems among adults by sampling from whole population registries have been made in Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The studies in Norway and Sweden are fairly similar, showing a higher prevalence in Sweden according to the South Oaks Gambling Screen Revised (SOGS-R), and similar prevalence according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) screens. The difference is unexpected because Norway has relatively more gambling machines and Norwegian citizens spend more money on gambling. However, the low response rates in Norway may explain the result. Preliminary results from Iceland (2005) with a DSM-IV screen do not differ from those from Norway and Sweden concerning prevalences of pathological gambling, but differ from Norway concerning problem gamblers. However, different DSM-IV screens were used in the three countries, and response rates differed. With these reservations, the past-year prevalence of pathological gambling in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden is about 0.3%, as estimated from DSM-IV screens. Studies of gambling problems among young people have only been performed in Norway.


Keywords


prevalence; problem gambling; pathological gambling; Nordic countries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2006.18.4

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