Gambling Harms in Adult Social Care: Developing an 'Introductory' Question to Identify Gambling Harms Among Service Users

Cat Forward, Caroline Norrie, Steph Bramley, Liz Riley, James Shearer , Emily Finch, Glenn Stewart, Paul C Fletcher, J Manthorpe, Heather Wardle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gambling harms are disproportionately experienced among disadvantaged groups and as such, adult social care (ASC) practitioners are well-placed to identify and support affected individuals. There exists no evidence-based 'introductory' question for practitioners to identify those at risk of gambling harms, which includes family and friends ('affected others'). To develop an 'introductory' question for use in English ASC, we conducted a scoping review that identified fifteen potential questions. Questions were refined through expert panel review groups (n = 13), cognitive interviewing (n = 18), test-retest reliability checks (n = 20) and validity testing (n = 2,100) against gold-standard measures of problem gambling behaviour. The question development process produced two questions suitable for testing in local authority (LA) ASC departments. These were (i) 'Do you feel you are affected by any gambling, either your own or someone else's?' and (ii) 'If you or someone close to you gambles, do you feel it is causing you any worries?' Each had good face validity, strong test-retest reliability, correlated highly with well-being measures and performed reasonably against validated measures of problem gambling. These two questions are currently being piloted by ASC practitioners in three English LAs to assess their feasibility for adoption in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3584-3607
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
Early online date22 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023.


  • adult safeguarding
  • conversation starter
  • gambling harms
  • local authorities
  • starter question

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