Self-management strategies among people who experience problem gambling, poverty, and/or homelessness
Introduction/Rationale: There is a high prevalence of problem gambling among people experiencing poverty/homelessness, but several barriers contribute to low rates of formal treatment access. Assisting people with self-management strategies may be one solution to this problem. Self-management has been identified as an important occupation for people experiencing poverty/homelessness. There is growing interest in the potential of self-management strategies for problem gambling.
Objectives: In this qualitative study, we aimed to describe the gambling self-management strategies among people experiencing problem gambling, poverty/homelessness, and complex health issues in a large multiethnic city in Canada.
Method/Approach: Semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey with 19 adults experiencing problem gambling, poverty/homelessness, and complex health issues was conducted. Inductive qualitative content analysis was used to analyze participants’ gambling self-management strategies, which were then interpreted through an occupational lens.
Results and or Practice Implications: Five types of gambling self-management strategies were identified: (1) seeking information on problem gambling, (2) talking about gambling problems, (3) limiting money spent on gambling, (4) avoiding gambling providers, and (5) engaging in alternative activities. These themes speak to proactive actions that directly address problem gambling issues as well as actions that result in the avoidance of things to prevent themselves from gambling. These findings can be leveraged to promote occupational self-management supports.
Conclusion: Self-management was a central occupation in participants’ everyday lives, shaping their orientations to and understandings of a range situations, activities, and relationships. A combination of these strategies may be used in occupation-based interventions to effectively promote self-management skills.
Journal/Conference/Book title18th World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress, Paris, France.