Don’t Go There: A Geospatial mHealth App for Gambling Disorder

Overview

The goal of this project is to develop and to test the efficacy of a novel mHealth app for gambling disorder. The app capitalizes on smartphones' global positioning software (GPS) that recognizes a user's location to within 15 feet. Users will receive an alert of this go near a gambling venue. The project will conduct a 12-week pilot randomized clinical trial to test the short-term efficacy of the app with gambling disorder individuals.

Full Title of Study: “Don’t Go There: A Geospatial mHealth App for Gambling Disorder”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 2021

Interventions

  • Behavioral: mHealth App
    • The app uses smartphones’ global positioning software (GPS) that recognizes a user’s location to within 15 feet. The app will construct a customizable geofence (e.g., 3 miles) around a gambler’s favored gambling venue (e.g., casino, gas station). If the individual crosses the fence boundary his or her phone will raise the alarm with a personalized motivational message.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: mHealth App
    • Participants will receive the gambling disorder mHealth app.
  • No Intervention: Wait List Control
    • Participant will be placed on a wait list for 12 weeks, after which they will be offered the gambling disorder mHealth app.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • App usage (feasibility)
    • Time Frame: From baseline to post-treatment (12 weeks)
    • Number of days the app is active on a user’s smartphone. Days can range from 0 to 84.
  • Patient satisfaction with the gambling app
    • Time Frame: From baseline to post-treatment (12 weeks)
    • Investigator derived patient satisfaction self-report questionnaire. Five items, using a 7-point Likert scale from very dissatisfied (1) to very satisfied (7). Higher scores indicate a better outcome.

Secondary Measures

  • Gambling behavior via Timeline Followback (Weinstock, Whelan, & Meyers, 2004)
    • Time Frame: From baseline to post-treatment (12 weeks)
    • Self-report gambling frequency and intensity as assessed by the Gambling Timeline Followback – a retrospective self-report calendar. Gambling frequency can range from 0 to 84; gambling intensity is measured in $ and time (hours). Dollars wagered can range from $0 to unlimited $. Time is measured in hours and can range from 0 to >1,000 hours. Higher scores indicate a worse outcome.
  • Gambling-related harms (Browne et al., 2018)
    • Time Frame: From baseline to post-treatment (12 weeks)
    • Self-reported gambling harms as assessed by the 72-item Gambling-Related Harms Questionnaire (yes/no responses). Scores range from 0 to 72. Higher scores indicate a worse outcome.
  • Quality of Life Inventory (Frisch et al., 1994). A self-reported quality of life measure assessing 17 domains of life for importance and satisfaction.
    • Time Frame: From baseline to post-treatment (12 weeks)
    • Self-report quality of life questionnaire. Participants rate 17 domains on importance (range not at all important [0] to extremely important [2]). The 17 domains are then rated on how satisfied the individual is regards to his or her life (-3 [very dissatisfied] to 3 [very dissatisfied]). A total score is then generated by summing the product of importance multiplied by satisfaction. Scores range from 0 to 102. Higher scores indicate a better outcome.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Currently meets DSM-5 criteria for gambling disorder
  • At least 4 non-online gambling episodes in past 60 days
  • Wagering at least $100 total over past 60 days
  • Willingness to accept random assignment
  • English speaking
  • Android phone user

Exclusion Criteria

  • Age <18 years old
  • Severely disruptive behavior
  • Serious uncontrolled psychiatric behavior that requires acute psychiatric care
  • Decline permission to collect zero permission data from smartphone.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • St. Louis University
  • Collaborator
    • National Center for Responsible Gaming
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Jeremiah Weinstock, Associate Professor – St. Louis University
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Jeremiah Weinstock, PhD, Principal Investigator, St. Louis University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Jeremiah Weintock, PhD, 314-977-2137, jeremiah.weinstock@health.slu.edu

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