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Authors: Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Edward B. McNeil, Nopporn Tantirangsee, Phunnapa Kittirattanapaiboon and Thai National Mental Health Survey Team

Background and aims

To estimate the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling, gender and age-group differences in gambling types, and comorbidities with other psychiatric disorders among the Thai general population.

Methods

Analysis was conducted on 4,727 participants of Thailand’s 2013 National Mental Health Survey, a multistage stratified cluster survey, using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Diagnoses of problem and pathological gambling and other psychiatric disorders were based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria with the following additional criteria for gamblers: more than 10 lifetime gambling episodes and a single year loss of at least 365 USD from gambling.

Results

The estimated lifetime prevalence rates of pathological and problem gambling were 0.90% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51–1.29] and 1.14% (95% CI: 0.58–1.70), respectively. The most popular type of gambling was playing lotteries [69.5%, standard error (SE) = 1.9], the prevalence of which was significantly higher among females and older age groups. The most common psychiatric disorders seen among pathological gamblers were alcohol abuse (57.4%), nicotine dependence (49.5%), and any drug use disorder (16.2%). Pathological gambling was highly prevalent among those who ever experienced major depressive episodes (5.5%), any drug dependence (5.1%), and intermittent explosive disorder (4.8%). The association between pathological gambling was strongest with a history of major depressive episode [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 10.4, 95% CI: 2.80–38.4].

Conclusion

The study confirms the recognition of gambling disorders as a public health concern in Thailand and suggests a need for culturally specific preventive measures for pathological gamblers and those with a history of substance use disorders or major depression.

Open access

Including gaming disorder in the ICD-11: The need to do so from a clinical and public health perspective

Commentary on: A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution (van Rooij et al., 2018)

Authors: Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Sophia Achab, Joël Billieux, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Natacha Carragher, Zsolt Demetrovics, Susumu Higuchi, Daniel L. King, Karl Mann, Marc Potenza, John B. Saunders, Max Abbott, Atul Ambekar, Osman Tolga Aricak, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Norharlina Bahar, Guilherme Borges, Matthias Brand, Elda Mei-Lo Chan, Thomas Chung, Jeff Derevensky, Ahmad El Kashef, Michael Farrell, Naomi A. Fineberg, Claudia Gandin, Douglas A. Gentile, Mark D. Griffiths, Anna E. Goudriaan, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Wei Hao, David C. Hodgins, Patrick Ip, Orsolya Király, Hae Kook Lee, Daria Kuss, Jeroen S. Lemmens, Jiang Long, Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Satoko Mihara, Nancy M. Petry, Halley M. Pontes, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Florian Rehbein, Jürgen Rehm, Emanuele Scafato, Manoi Sharma, Daniel Spritzer, Dan J. Stein, Philip Tam, Aviv Weinstein, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Klaus Wölfling, Daniele Zullino and Vladimir Poznyak

The proposed introduction of gaming disorder (GD) in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to a lively debate over the past year. Besides the broad support for the decision in the academic press, a recent publication by van Rooij et al. (2018) repeated the criticism raised against the inclusion of GD in ICD-11 by Aarseth et al. (2017). We argue that this group of researchers fails to recognize the clinical and public health considerations, which support the WHO perspective. It is important to recognize a range of biases that may influence this debate; in particular, the gaming industry may wish to diminish its responsibility by claiming that GD is not a public health problem, a position which maybe supported by arguments from scholars based in media psychology, computer games research, communication science, and related disciplines. However, just as with any other disease or disorder in the ICD-11, the decision whether or not to include GD is based on clinical evidence and public health needs. Therefore, we reiterate our conclusion that including GD reflects the essence of the ICD and will facilitate treatment and prevention for those who need it.

Open access