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Cheryl Currie: Refocusing our Efforts to Promote Responsible Gambling: The Importance of a Public Health Lens

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Cheryl Currie: Refocusing our Efforts to Promote Responsible Gambling: The Importance of a Public Health Lens
Session 4B
Presented at the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, January 27-29, 2014

Cheryl Currie: Refocusing our Efforts to Promote Responsible Gambling: The Importance of a Public Health Lens
Session 4B
Presented at the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, January 27-29, 2014

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Cheryl Currie: Refocusing our Efforts to Promote Responsible Gambling: The Importance of a Public Health Lens

  1. 1. Cheryl Currie, PhD Alberta Translational Health Chair & Assistant Professor of Public Health, University of Lethbridge
  2. 2. What is done to resolve a particular societal matter depends on how it is framed (Korn, 2002)  • All Canadian provinces provide funds to promote responsible gambling • But are we framing the matter in ways that guide effective action?
  3. 3. What is Public Health?   Science of prevention  To fulfill society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy.
  4. 4. A Public Health Lens Describe gambling in populations Action Determinants of PG
  5. 5. Descriptive Epidemiology  Describe gambling behaviour by: Population-focused Person Time Place
  6. 6. Population Health Focus Individual Focus  Chasing losses  Cravings to gamble  Health problems  Financial problems  Population Focus  844,000 PGs in Canada (2.4%)  Higher in males  Prevalence lowest in Quebec, east coast  Low treatment seeking
  7. 7. Determinants of PG  1. Biologic – Genetics, epigenetics 2. Environmental – Gambling environment 3. Individual – Choices, psychological mechanisms 4. Social – Poverty, unemployment, discrimination, childhood trauma
  8. 8. Levels of Prevention  1. Primary Prevention – Prevent PG 2. Secondary Prevention – Catch preclinical PG symptoms early 3. Tertiary Prevention – PG treatment
  9. 9. Levels of Prevention Symptomatic Clinical phase of disease (PG) Pre-Symptomatic Early PG symptoms
  10. 10. The Problem with an Educational Focus  Educational approaches to health promotion have proved disappointingly ineffective. (Gilliam et al. 2012)
  11. 11. Example – Montana Meth Project   45 000 TV ads, 35 000 radio ads, 10 000 print impressions, 1000 billboards  Education campaign portrays the consequences of meth use.
  12. 12.
  13. 13. Findings – Anderson (2010)   “...the effects on meth use are statistically indistinguishable from zero.”  Campaign did not contribute to a decrease in meth use among youth.  To better guide the allocation of resources this study calls for a focus on the determinants of meth use.
  14. 14. What are the problems with educating people?  1. Educating people on ‘how to behave better’ is often not that effective in eliciting lasting behaviour change. 2. Some education-based behaviour change theories are popular, but not necessarily evidence-based.
  15. 15.  Link to article
  16. 16. What are the problems with educating people?  3. New people continue to enter the population at an unaffected rate - who then have to be educated on “how to behave better” (Syme, 2008)
  17. 17. A shift in focus to reducing incidence not prevalence
  18. 18. Link to article
  19. 19. Wealth Distribution Divide the 34 million people in Canada into 5 groups each with 6.8 million people  Wealthiest 20%  Upper middle  Middle  Lower middle  Bottom 20% Question: What % of wealth is owned by each quintile?
  20. 20. Income Inequality & Mental Health 
  21. 21. Big Picture Thinking   Gambling redistributes $$ randomly among participants.  How could gambling revenues $$ be used to redistribute wealth in society?
  22. 22. How can we structure the gambling environment  To make individual’s default decisions about gambling responsible?
  23. 23. Link to article
  24. 24. Finding the Right Balance  Gambling Profits Social Responsibility
  25. 25. Rose - Preventative Medicine   Personal lifestyle is socially conditioned.  It makes little sense to expect individuals to behave differently than their peers.  It is more appropriate to seek a general change in the circumstances which facilitate behavioural adoption.
  26. 26. High-Risk Focus Target: High-risk gamblers based on behaviour Most responsible Average gambling behaviour Least responsible
  27. 27. Where do the High-Risk come from? Most responsible Average gambling behaviour Least responsible
  28. 28. What Determines the Population Average? The more widespread a cause, the less it explains the distribution of cases. Most responsible The hardest causes to identify are those universally present. Average gambling behaviour Least responsible
  29. 29. Comparing Populations Average Blood Pressure Link to full reference
  30. 30. Comparing Populations  Causes of Cases Similar in Alberta & Quebec 8% PG Prevalence 6% 4% Causes of Incidence? 2% 0% Alberta Quebec
  31. 31. What is Our Question? Why do some individuals have PG Why do some populations have more PG?
  32. 32. Whole Population Target Most responsible Average gambling behaviour Least responsible Edited from Frohlich and Potvin (2008)
  33. 33. The Problem! In reality, this is what often happens Frohlich and Potvin (2008): Link to article
  34. 34. The Problem Increased PG Inequalities   Those with higher SES derive more benefit from whole population approaches  Not addressed – underlying mechanisms in society that lead to mental health inequalities in various groups.
  35. 35.
  36. 36. Determinants of PG   Adverse Childhood Experiences
  37. 37. Link to article
  38. 38. Framing Prevention Targets  1. High-risk population 2. Whole population 3. Vulnerable populations
  39. 39. Developing a Framework for Responsible Gambling  1. Focus: Primary, secondary, tertiary prevention? 2. Strategies: Based on scientific theory & evidence? 3. Targets: Causes of cases or incidence?
  40. 40. Responsible Gambling Where are We Now?  1. PG prevention programs not generally informed by research evidence. 2. Most widely employed strategies are the least effective (education, responsible gambling features, self-exclusion) 3. No magic bullet strategy in PG literature. Williams, Simpson & West (2012): Report Link
  41. 41. Finding the Right Balance  Gambling Profits Social Responsibility
  42. 42. Refocusing Our Efforts to Promote Responsible Gambling  Cheryl Currie, PhD AIHS Translational Health Chair & Assistant Professor of Public Health, University of Lethbridge, cheryl.currie@uleth.ca

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