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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Elodie Hurel
,
Gaëlle Challet-Bouju
,
Marion Chirio-Espitalier
,
Malory Vincent
, and
Marie Grall-Bronnec

Abstract

Background

Social communication disorder (SCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes communication difficulties. Literature linking SCD and addictions is scarce, and there are only a few case reports regarding the co-occurrence of addiction and autism disorder spectrum, and only one of them addressed behavioural addictions.

Case presentation

We report MC’s case, who displayed an SCD and sexual addiction (SA). Clinical and neuropsychological evaluations suggested an alteration of social cognition, especially of affective theory of mind. This article also presents the adaptation made of the usual treatment.

Discussion

This case report illustrates the importance of social cognition abilities in the development and maintenance of behavioural addictions, and specifically SA. It also highlights the possible comorbidity of these two disorders and the possibility to work on social cognition as an alternate therapy in the treatment of behavioural addictions.

Conclusions

The co-occurrence of SCD and a behavioural addiction triggered clinical adaptations and implications that may affect a patient’s treatment presenting one of these disorders.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Blaszczynski and Nower (2002) conceptualized their Pathways Model by postulating the existence of three subtypes of problem gamblers who share common characteristics, but also present specific ones.

Methods

This study investigated how the psychological mechanisms postulated in the Pathways Model predict clinical status in a sample that combined treatment-seeking gamblers (n = 59) and non-problematic community gamblers (n = 107). To test the Pathways Model, we computed a hierarchic logistic regression in which variables associated with each postulated pathway were entered sequentially to predict the status of the treatment-seeking gambler. Self-report questionnaires measured gambling-related cognitions, alexithymia, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation strategies and impulsivity. Behavioural tasks measured gambling persistence (slot machine task), decision-making under uncertainty (Iowa Gambling Task) and decision-making under risk (Game of Dice Task).

Results

We showed that specific factors theorized as underlying mechanisms for each pathway predicted the status of clinical gambler. For each pathway, significant predictors included gambling-related cognitive distortions and behaviourally measured gambling persistence (behaviourally conditioned pathway), emotional reactivity and emotion regulation strategies (emotionally vulnerable pathway), and lack of premeditation impulsivity facet (impulsivist-antisocial pathway).

Discussion and conclusions

Our study adds to the body of literature confirming the validity of the Pathways Model and hold important implications in terms of assessment and treatment of problem gambling. In particular, a standardized assessment based on the Pathways Model should promote individualized treatment strategies to allow clinicians to take into account the high heterogeneity that characterizes gambling disorder.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Marie Grall-Bronnec
,
Samuel Bulteau
,
Caroline Victorri-Vigneau
,
Gaëlle Bouju
, and
Anne Sauvaget

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

While the concept of recovery is receiving increasing attention in the context of gambling disorder (GD), no consensus has yet been reached regarding its definition. This scoping review aims to map the literature on GD recovery, identify gaps, and provide insights for a more holistic and patient-centred perspective.

Methods

A systematic search of three databases was conducted (PubMed, PsycINFO, and ScienceDirect). Based on the method by which the results of these studies were produced, the studies included were sorted into four categories (quantitative, instrument validation, qualitative, and mixed studies) and subsequently examined using conceptual analysis.

Results

One hundred thirteen articles were included in this research after the screening process. In the quantitative and instrument validation studies, recovery was defined or operationalized in terms of abstinence, the absence of a GD diagnosis, or mild GD severity, or by reference to treatment outcomes or controlled gambling. A meta-synthesis of the results of the qualitative studies revealed four core features of recovery (insight, empowerment and commitment, wellbeing enhancement, and reconsideration of the issue of relapse).

Discussion

Discrepancies in definitions, outcomes, and variables used were evident across studies. Additionally, the quantitative and standardized approaches employed in most studies exhibited severe limitations with regard to defining recovery from the subjective and multidimensional perspectives of people recovering from GD.

Conclusions

This lack of definitional clarity emphasizes the necessity for further qualitative research. This research should encompass multiple stakeholder perspectives to develop a working definition promoting recovery from a holistic, patient-centred, and tailored approach.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Anne Sauvaget
,
Samuel Bulteau
,
Alice Guilleux
,
Juliette Leboucher
,
Anne Pichot
,
Pierre Valrivière
,
Jean-Marie Vanelle
,
Véronique Sébille-Rivain
, and
Marie Grall-Bronnec

Background

Craving is a core symptom of addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling for example. Over the last decade, several studies have assessed the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the addiction field, which triggers the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to decrease craving. The STIMJEU study investigated whether a single session of low-frequency (LF, i.e., 1 Hz) rTMS applied to the right DLPFC reduced cue-induced gambling craving in a sample of treatment-seeking pathological gamblers.

Methods

Thirty patients received both active and sham rTMS in random order and were blinded to the condition in a within-subject crossover design. Outcome measures included self-reported gambling craving (Visual Analog Scale and Gambling Craving Scale) and physiological measures (heart rate and blood pressure).

Results

The rTMS sessions were associated with a significant decrease in the gambling urge, regardless of whether the session was active or sham. When controlling cue-induced craving levels, no effects were observed on craving for active rTMS. Overall, rTMS was well-tolerated, and the credibility of the sham procedure was assessed and appeared to be appropriate.

Conclusions

We failed to demonstrate the specific efficacy of one session of LF rTMS to decrease cue-induced craving in pathological gamblers. A strong placebo-effect and rTMS parameters may partly explain these results. Yet, we are convinced that rTMS remains a promising therapeutic method. Further studies are required to examine its potential effect.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nicolas A. Bonfils
,
Marie Grall-Bronnec
,
Julie Caillon
,
Frédéric Limosin
,
Amine Benyamina
,
Henri-Jean Aubin
, and
Amandine Luquiens

Background and aims

Problem gambling is characterized by high stigma and self-stigma, making relevant measurement of the burden of the disorder complex. The aim of our qualitative study was to describe health-related quality of life (HRQOL) impacted by problem gambling from the patients’ perspective.

Methods

We conducted 6 focus groups with 25 current or lifetime at-risk problem gamblers to identify key domains of quality of life impacted by problem gambling. A content analysis from the focus groups data was conducted using Alceste© software, using descendant hierarchical classification analysis, to obtain stable classes and the significant presences of reduced forms. The class of interest, detailing the core of impacted quality of life, was described using a cluster analysis.

Results

Thematic content analysis identified three stable classes. Class 1 contained the interviewers’ speech. Class 3 was composed of the vocabulary related to gambling practice, games and gambling venues (casino, horse betting, etc.). Class 2 described the core of impact of gambling on quality of life and corresponded to 43% of the analyzed elementary context units. This analysis revealed seven key domains of impact of problem gambling: loneliness, financial pressure, relationships deterioration, feeling of incomprehension, preoccupation with gambling, negative emotions, and avoidance of helping relationships.

Conclusions

We identified, beyond objective damage, the subjective distress felt by problem gamblers over the course of the disorder and in the helping process, marked in particular by stigma and self-stigma. Four impacted HRQOL areas were new and gambling-specific: loneliness, feeling of incomprehension, avoidance of helping relationships, and preoccupation with gambling. These results support the relevance of developing, in a next step, a specific HRQOL scale in the context of gambling.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Bastien Perrot
,
Jean-Benoit Hardouin
,
Elsa Thiabaud
,
Anaïs Saillard
,
Marie Grall-Bronnec
, and
Gaëlle Challet-Bouju

Abstract

Background and aims

Gambling disorder is characterized by problematic gambling behavior that causes significant problems and distress. This study aimed to develop and validate a predictive model for screening online problem gamblers based on players' account data.

Methods

Two random samples of French online gamblers in skill-based (poker, horse race betting and sports betting, n = 8,172) and pure chance games (scratch games and lotteries, n = 5,404) answered an online survey and gambling tracking data were retrospectively collected for the participants. The survey included age and gender, gambling habits, and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). We used machine learning algorithms to predict the PGSI categories with gambling tracking data. We internally validated the prediction models in a leave-out sample.

Results

When predicting gambling problems binary based on each PGSI threshold (1 for low-risk gambling, 5 for moderate-risk gambling and 8 for problem gambling), the predictive performances were good for the model for skill-based games (AUROCs from 0.72 to 0.82), but moderate for the model for pure chance games (AUROCs from 0.63 to 0.76, with wide confidence intervals) due to the lower frequency of problem gambling in this sample. When predicting the four PGSI categories altogether, performances were good for identifying extreme categories (non-problem and problem gamblers) but poorer for intermediate categories (low-risk and moderate-risk gamblers), whatever the type of game.

Conclusions

We developed an algorithm for screening online problem gamblers, excluding online casino gamblers, that could enable the setting of prevention measures for the most vulnerable gamblers.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Elodie Hurel
,
Marie Grall-Bronnec
,
Elsa Thiabaud
,
Juliette Leboucher
,
Maxime Leroy
,
Bastien Perrot
, and
Gaëlle Challet-Bouju

Abstract

Background and aims

This research aimed to characterize social information processing abilities in a population of regular nondisordered poker players compared to controls.

Methods

Participants completed the Posner cueing paradigm task including social cues (faces) to assess attention allocation towards social stimuli, including the effect of the presentation time (subliminal vs supraliminal) and of the emotion displayed. The study included two groups of participants: 30 regular nondisordered poker players (those who played at least three times a week in Texas Hold'em poker games for at least three months) and 30 control participants (those who did not gamble or gambled less than once a month, whatever the game).

Results

The group of regular nondisordered poker players displayed an enhancement of the inhibition of return during the Posner cueing task. This means that in valid trials, they took longer to respond to the already processed localization in supraliminal conditions compared to controls. However, our results did not evidence any particular engagement or disengagement attention abilities toward specific types of emotion.

Discussion and Conclusions

These results suggest that regular nondisordered poker players displayed social information processing abilities, which may be due to the importance to efficiently process social information that can serve as tells in live poker. The observed enhancement of the inhibition of return may permit poker players to not process a localization that has already processed to save attentional resources. Further research regarding the establishment of the IOR in other forms of gambling and with non-social cues needs to be performed.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Bastien Perrot
,
Jean-Benoit Hardouin
,
Elsa Thiabaud
,
Anaïs Saillard
,
Marie Grall-Bronnec
, and
Gaëlle Challet-Bouju
Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Clémence Cabelguen
,
Bruno Rocher
,
Juliette Leboucher
,
Benoît Schreck
,
Gaëlle Challet-Bouju
,
Jean-Benoît Hardouin
, and
Marie Grall-Bronnec

Abstract

Background and aims

Since June 2018, gaming disorder (GD) has been recognized as a disease. It is frequently associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as there are common vulnerability factors and bidirectional interactions between the two disorders. This study aims to evaluate the presence of ADHD symptoms and predictive factors of ADHD among patients with GD.

Methods

Ninety-seven patients ≥16 years old referred to the University Hospital of Nantes between 2012 and 2020 for GD were included. The diagnosis of GD was given a posteriori in accordance with the new ICD-11 GD definition. ADHD was screened using the Adult-ADHD Self-Report Scale and the Wender-Utah Rating Scale. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to identify explanatory factors for ADHD-GD comorbidity.

Results

The rate of GD patients who screened positive for ADHD was 39%. Predictive factors of ADHD-GD comorbidity were impulsivity (higher score on the negative urgency dimension) and low self-esteem.

Discussion

The rate of ADHD found among patients with GD is consistent with that from the literature on internet GD but higher than that found for other behavioural addictions. The identification of a higher negative urgency score and low self-esteem as predictive factors of AHDH-GD comorbidity indicates that gaming could be considered a dysfunctional way to cope with emotional dysregulation in ADHD or to virtually escape.

Conclusions

Comorbid ADHD must be taken into consideration to minimize its functional impact on GD patients and gaming-related damage. In contrast, the evaluation of gaming habits in patients with ADHD could be useful for both prevention and care.

Open access