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Contingency Management as an Adjunct Treatment for Rural and Remote Disordered Gamblers

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02953899
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 3, 2016
Last Update Posted : May 22, 2019
Alberta Rural Development Network
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Darren R. Christensen, University of Lethbridge

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this project is to pilot contingency management as an adjunct treatment to counselling as usual using internet delivered video-conferencing applications for remote disordered gamblers. This project further investigates the impact of adding contingency management to counselling to improve counselling attendance and retention and uses internet-delivered approaches to assist rural and remote disordered gamblers gain access to counselling treatments.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Gambling Disorder Behavioral: Contingency Management Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The chosen methodology is a randomised clinical trial where participants are allocated into one of two conditions; Contingency Management and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CM+), or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy alone (CBT) for the treatment of disordered gambling. Participants will experience a battery of tests pre- and post-treatment examining clinical, psychological, and behavioural issues, including co-morbid substance use. Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) affiliates will be provided with information regarding how participants can access the Qualtrics study site (e.g., an on-line survey hosting company) and will be individually directed to the study site by the principal investigator to complete the consent form and the base-line assessments. Counselling will be provided free of charge using Skype or Facetime video-conferencing internet applications. Participation in each condition will last 14 weeks: 12 weeks for treatment, and 2 weeks of assessments (one week prior to treatment and one week post treatment). Pre-treatment assessments (including demographic information) will take approximately 30-45 minutes, as will the post-treatment assessments. The progress check-ups by the Principal Investigator will take 5 to 10 minutes. A subset of treatment seekers, counsellors, and community/project stakeholders (e.g., ARDN affiliates) will also be chosen to participate in qualitative interviews to explore their experiences as well as their perceptions regarding the utility of the program for residents of rural and remote areas. The qualitative interviews will take approximately 30-60 minutes.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 54 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Piloting the Addition of Contingency Management to Best Practice Counselling as an Adjunct Treatment for Rural and Remote Disordered Gamblers
Study Start Date : November 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 31, 2019
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 31, 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Contingency Management
This is a treatment where participants earn points for treatment attendance and for providing evidence of gambling abstinence. These points are added to study accounts that can be redeemed for goods and services available at a variety of on-line businesses (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, etc.). Submission of evidence of gambling behaviour or non-attendance at an on-line counselling session re-sets subsequent points to the starting level. The CM procedure is implemented as part of the CBT counselling session.
Behavioral: Contingency Management
In addition to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this intervention uses small incentives to reinforce study attendance and gambling abstinence.

Active Comparator: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is currently considered "best practice" for the treatment of problem gambling, as noted in the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) endorsed Clinical Guidelines for problem and pathological gambling treatment (Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, 2011). CBT is typically a semi-structured approach for delivering cognitive behavioural therapy addressing the participant's experiences, thoughts, and emotions relating to their gambling and substance use. Techniques include psychoeducation, behavioural interventions, and cognitive strategies. Participants are expected to attend on-line counselling sessions three times a week for approximately 12 weeks. All participants will receive individual counselling from an experienced counsellor/therapist.
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This intervention uses psychoeducation, behavioural strategies, and cognitive restructuring to assist the participant in their efforts to become abstinent from gambling.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Gambling Abstinence [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    The total number of sessions that a participant provided evidence of gambling abstinence in the study

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Session Attendance [ Time Frame: 12-weeks ]
    The total number of sessions that a participant attended the study

  2. Study Retention [ Time Frame: 12-weeks ]
    The total number of weeks that a participant attended the study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • capable of providing written consent,
  • received a diagnosis of gambling disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013),
  • gambled within the last month,
  • live in a rural or remote location, and
  • speak English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Medically unmanaged psychiatric or neurological disorder(s) except for disordered gambling

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02953899

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Contact: Darren R Christensen, PhD 403-329-5124
Contact: Chad Witcher, PhD 403-332-4439

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Canada, Alberta
University of Lethbridge Recruiting
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, T1K 3M4
Contact: Darren R Christensen, PhD    4033295124   
Contact: Chad Witcher, PhD    403-332-4439   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Lethbridge
Alberta Rural Development Network
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Principal Investigator: Darren R Christensen, PhD University of Lethbridge

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Darren R. Christensen, Chair in Gambling, Assistant Professor, University of Lethbridge Identifier: NCT02953899    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2016-080
First Posted: November 3, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 22, 2019
Last Verified: May 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: Only the research team will have access to the individual participant data
Keywords provided by Darren R. Christensen, University of Lethbridge:
Contingency Management
Gambling Disorder
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders