Presentation by: Sean Sullivan
Conference: International Conference on Gambling
Date: September 2006
Title: Dont let an opportunity go by: the validation of the
EIGHT gambling screen as a generic tool
Relatively few people affected by their gambling seek help to reduce harm
from that gambling. Those that do seek help are usually late-stage problem
gamblers that attend with often complex health and social issues to address.
Earlier identification of gambling issues may prevent the intensification
of the harm, while brief, opportunistic screening may provide a help pathway
for the estimated high proportion of those who do not seek help. A brief
screen that is simple to score, and that may identify early, as well as
later stage gambling problems, may address some of the barriers that may
exist to opportunistic identification of gambling problems amongst those
accessing a range of social and health services. This paper reports upon
a project to identify the psychometrics of the EIGHT (Early Intervention
Gambling Health Test) screen and its validity to identify stages of problem
gambling. The triangulated process used is a common approach where, such
is the case with problem gambling, there is no gold standard
available that is definitive of the condition.
The EIGHT gambling screen was provided, together with the SOGS or NODS
screens, to those attending alcohol and other drug services, primary health
organizations, and specialist gambling treatment services. The project
identified significant levels of problem gambling in the non-specialist
settings, and both opportunities and barriers to screening in these settings.
Screen comparison indicated appropriate cut-offs for the EIGHT screen
for Levels 1 to 3 problem gambling, and that the EIGHT screen is a valid
instrument to measure these levels of problem gambling.
The use of the EIGHT screen currently in New Zealand and overseas, contributes
to identifying the acceptability, cultural validity, and practicality
of the EIGHT screen, as well as the psychometric properties of the screen
through comparison with other measures.