ICRG Online Poster Session

We, at ICRG, would like to thank everyone that participated in this year’s online poster session. It has been a trying last couple of years, and although we couldn’t see the posters in person, research doesn’t stop and we were able to learn via online presentations.

Additionally, we would like to announce the winners of poster awards for 2021:

Honorable Mention: “Preparing Massachusetts treatment providers for gambling expansion: Initial observations from a statewide needs assessment and capacity building program”- Kira A. Landauer, Amy Flynn, Caitlyn S. Fong, Tamika R. Francis, Ivy Schmalzried, Elizabeth Bice, Amanda Ayers, Debi A. LaPlante, Heather M. Gray Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School

Abstract: Like many places around the world, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is undergoing a period of gambling expansion. Increased availability of gambling opportunities, both land-based and online, might contribute to an increase in the prevalence of problem gambling and health workforce, who already provide care for common co-occurring conditions including substance use disorders and other mental health conditions, must be prepared to screen for and manage problem gambling among their clientele. To that end, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Problem Gambling Services partnered with Health Resources in Action and the Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance to build the capacity of substance use outpatient treatment programs in Massachusetts to address problem gambling and co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, and to reduce health disparities associated with the delivery of those services in their communities. This poster will review the Massachusetts

Technical Assistance Center for Problem Gambling Treatment’s (MTAC) first year of activity. First, we will review findings from a statewide needs assessment designed to identify treatment providers’ most pressing needs as they relate to integrating problem gambling treatment into their portfolio of services in a way that reduces or eliminates persistent healthcare disparities. Twenty-six programs, each with an average of 1,798 patients, completed a needs assessment survey and a subset completed individual structured interviews. Questions were focused on whether and how programs screen for, assess, and treat problem gambling among their

patients. Programs also answered questions about organizational-level factors that have the potential to impact their problem gambling treatment services, including recruitment and retention of staff, training, collection and use of data, marketing and promotion of services, and organizational culture. Second, we will describe the development of individualized TA plans created in collaboration with outpatient programs and centered on health equity. Finally, more broadly, we will describe challenges, successes, and planned next steps of this collaboration.

Most Outstanding Poster:“Should I stay or should I go: Feeling both optimistic for recovery and nostalgic for gambling heightens ambivalence and likelihood of relapse”- Mackenzie Dowson, Michael J. A. Wohl, Melissa M. Salmon, Isabella R. L. Bossom, Nassim Tabri, Carleton University

Abstract: A growing body of research has demonstrated that nostalgic reverie (i.e., sentimental longing) for the pre-addicted self readies people living with a gambling disorder for change. However, there may be a potential dark side to nostalgia among those in recovery. In this novel research, we recruited a sample of 304 (Male= 172; Female=132) people in recovery from disordered gambling (recruited via CloudResearch) and assessed them on nostalgia for gambling and optimism for a gambling-free future. Specifically, we predicted and found support for the idea that nostalgia for gambling (e.g., reminiscing about emotional and or behavioural aspects of gambling) is associated with greater ambivalence about the recovery process and greater likelihood of having experienced a relapse. We also found support for the idea that although optimism about one’s recovery is negatively associated with ambivalence about the recovery process, those who feel both nostalgic about the past and optimistic about the future report the greatest amount of ambivalence. Results suggest that treatment providers should examine the extent to which their clients nostalgize about gambling and work to undermine such sentiments, particularly among those who express confidence in their recovery process.

ICRG staffConference on Gambling and Addiction