Gambling Self-help Study

Gambler self-help strategies: A comprehensive assessment of self-help strategies and actions.


Self-help is the most widely used type of help amongst gamblers, and the first choice when a problem has developed. The aim of this project was to:

  1. develop a comprehensive list of self-help strategies and actions used by problems gamblers, based on the existing scientific literature those proposed by industry and endorsed by gamblers themselves, and
  2. to determine the uptake and helpfulness of these within an Australian context.

In phase 1 of the project, four concurrent studies were undertaken to provide a comprehensive list of self-help strategies and actions, including a review of available literature as well as secondary analyses of existing data extracted from websites, forums and online counselling transcripts. This allowed for the identification of twelve distinct strategy themes). In phase 2, the uptake and helpfulness of strategies and actions was examined across a broad population of gamblers, via a large national online survey (n=716) and a qualitative study exploring gamblers’ experiences of using self-help strategies and actions.

Numerous strategies and actions were found to be helpful, however no single strategy or action effectively dealt with gambling problems in isolation. Instead, participants described using a combination of strategies and actions that varied by their gambling situation. The findings highlight opportunities to promote self-help strategies, including better targeting of strategies to particular populations, and the inclusion of helpful strategies and actions on industry websites. Overall the low rate of professional help-seeking in the online sample, coupled with the high utilisation of self-help strategies across studies, highlights the importance of developing accessible and effective self-help resources and programs.

Project team

Turning Point team

Professor Dan Lubman (Monash University), Dr Alison Cheetham and Mr Tom Cartmill.

Project partners

Dr Simone Rodda (Deakin University), Associate Professor David Best (Monash University), Professor Nerilee Hing (Southern Cross University), Dr Elaine Nuske (Southern Cross University), Professor David Hodgins (University of Calgary), Professor John Cunningham (Canada Research Chair on Brief Interventions for Addictive Behaviours).

Learn more about this project


Journal articles/registered protocol links: