Gambling disorder (GD) and compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) may commonly co-occur. Yet, the psychiatric correlates of these co-occurring disorders are an untapped area of empirical scrutiny, limiting our understanding of appropriate treatment modalities for this dual-diagnosed population. This study examined the demographic and clinical correlates of CSB in a sample of treatment-seeking individuals with GD (N = 368) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Psychiatrists and psychologists conducted semi-structured clinical interviews to identify rates of CSB and other comorbid psychiatric disorders. The Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire was administered to assess additional addictive behaviors. The TCI and BIS-11 were used to assess facets of personality. Demographic and gambling variables were also assessed.
Of the total sample, 24 (6.5%) met diagnostic criteria for comorbid CSB (GD + CSB). Compared to those without compulsive sexual behaviors (GD − CSB), individuals with GD + CSB were more likely to be younger and male. No differences in gambling involvement emerged. Individuals with GD + CSB tended to have higher rates of psychiatric disorders (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bulimia nervosa) and engage in more addictive behaviors (problematic alcohol use, drug use, and exercise) compared to GD − CSB. Those with GD + CSB evidenced less self-directedness, cooperativeness, self-transcendence, and greater motor impulsivity. Logistic regression showed that the predictors of GD + CSB, which remained in the final model, were being male, a diagnosis of bulimia, greater gambling severity, and less self-transcendence.
Discussion and conclusion
Given those with GD + CSB evidence greater psychopathology, greater attention should be allocated to this often under studied comorbid condition to ensure adequate treatment opportunities.
Little attention has been given to efficacious treatment and adherence to treatment of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB).
Randomized controlled trial investigated short-term psychodynamic group therapy followed by relapse prevention group (STPGP-RPGT) and pharmacological treatment (PT) for CSB men on sexual compulsivity and adherence.
135 men, 38 (SD = 9) years old on average, were randomly assigned to 1) STPGP-RPGT; 2) PT; 3) Both. Participants completed measures at baseline, 25th, and 34th week. 57 (42.2%) participants dropped out between baseline and 25th week, and 68 (50.4%) between baseline and 34th week. 94 (69.6%) did not adhere (80% pills taken or attended 75% therapy sessions).
A significant interaction effect was found between time and group (F (4, 128) = 2.62, P = 0.038, ES = 0.08), showing who received PT improved less in sexual compulsivity than those who received STPGP-RPGT (t = 2.41; P = 0.038; ES = 0.60) and PT + STPGP-RPGT (t = 3.15; P = 0.007, ES = 0.74). Adherent participants improved more in sexual compulsivity than non-adherent at the 25th week (t = 2.82; P = 0.006, ES = 0.65) and 34th week (t = 2.26; P = 0.027, ES = 0.55), but there was no interaction effect, F (2, 130) = 2.88; P = 0.06; ES = 0.04). The most reported behavior (masturbation) showed greater risk of non-adherence (72.6%).
Discussion and conclusions
Adherent participants improved better than non-adherent. Participants who received psychotherapy improved better than those who received PT. Methodological limitations preclude conclusions on efficacy.