A Within-Subject Pilot Feasibility Study of a Gambling Specific SBIRT Intervention Delivered in an Urban HIV/Primary Clinic

Emily Heinlein, Lori Rugle, Wendy Potts, Chris Welsh, Seth Himelhoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Although there are few interventions available to provide screening and brief intervention targeted toward problematic gambling, Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based intervention that has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing gambling behaviors. Methods: The goal of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary outcomes of a gambling specific SBIRT intervention in a medical setting. Fifteen participants were recruited from an urban HIV/Primary Care clinic to receive the gambling specific SBIRT intervention delivered by 3 clinicians. Process and gambling specific outcome measures were evaluated at baseline, immediately after the intervention and at 1-month follow-up. Results: On average, patient participants were 49 years and self-described themselves as male (60%) and Black or African American (86.7%). Three (20%) participants met 4 or more criteria of the DSM-5 gambling disorder. Compared to baseline, those who participated in the intervention decreased both the median number of days gambled (1 days vs. 0 days), as well as the median money gambled at 1-month follow-up ($7 vs. $1). Participants with 4 or more criteria of DSM-5 gambling had the greatest reduction (days gambled: (26 days vs. 21 days); money spent: (($400 vs. $65)). Participants reported that the intervention was acceptable. Clinician participants found the intervention to be easy to deliver. Conclusions: A gambling specific SBIRT intervention was feasible to deliver and acceptable to participants. Gambling specific outcome measures were reduced at 1-month follow-up. A randomized control trial to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention is a recommended next step.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-558
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Brief biosocial gambling screen
  • Gambling behavior
  • Gambling disorder
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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