Despite high rates of comorbidity between problem gambling and mental health disorders, few studies have examined barriers or facilitators to the implementation of screening for problem gambling in mental health services. This exploratory qualitative study identified key themes associated with screening in mental health services. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 30 clinicians and managers from 11 mental health services in Victoria, Australia. Major themes and subthemes were identified using qualitative content analysis. Six themes emerged including competing priorities, importance of routine screening, access to appropriate screening tools, resources, patient responsiveness and workforce development. Barriers to screening included a focus on immediate risk as well as gambling being often considered as a longer-term concern. Clinicians perceived problem gambling as a relatively rare condition, but did acknowledge the need for brief screening. Facilitators to screening were changes to system processes, such as identification of an appropriate brief screening instrument, mandating its use as part of routine screening, as well as funded workforce development activities in the identification and management of problem gambling.
- Mental health disorders
- Mental health services