Columbia University Medical Center
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National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Psychotherapy for problem gambling

Please refer to this study by identifier 5946

Principal Investigator(s)

Carlos Blanco


In the proposed two-arm randomized controlled trial, 100 patients at each site meeting DSM-IV criteria for PG will be randomized to 12 sessions of Cognitive-Motivational Behavior Therapy (CMBT) or to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). This study will be conducted at two sites here and at SUNY ALBANY. Each site will obtain its own IRB approval. CMBT has been developed by our team over the last five years, and has shown very promising results in a small, NIMH-funded randomized pilot trial (R21 MH 064568). We will assess patients biweekly during the active treatment phase and follow them for 12 months after the end of treatment to obtain data on long-term treatment outcome. We hypothesize that CMBT will show higher efficacy and retention than CBT in the treatment phase, and that gains will be maintained at a higher rate during follow-up. A second major purpose of the proposed study is to elucidate the presumed mechanisms of change by examining potential mediators (readiness to change, irrational beliefs about gambling, coping skills, therapeutic alliance) and moderators (psychiatric comorbidity with Axis I and II disorders, family history of PG, impulsivity, and baseline motivation to change) of treatment response. A better understanding of how the proposed interventions work will help advance the science and treatment of PG and will be helpful in the future refinement and adaptation of CMBT. Identifying patient subgroups for which the intervention is particularly effective is essential for rational treatment selection. Thus, the immediate goal of the project is to compare CBMT versus CBT for the treatment of PG. A long-term goal of the proposed research is to establish effective treatment procedures that reduce the considerable individual and social costs of PG.

  • Type of Study: Clinical Trial
  • Setting of Study: outpatient
  • Clinical number: NCT01135264
  • Providing Clinical Treatment?: Yes
  • No Cost Treatment?: Yes
  • Care is provided in languages: English and Spanish

Study Activities

  • Filling Out Forms
  • Provides Payment: Compensation for study related procedures


  • Ages Eligible for Study: Years - Years
  • Genders Eligible for Study: 
  • This study is not recruiting Healthy Volunteers.


For more information, please contact

Carlos Blanco

Tel: 212-543-6533


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