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Journal Article

Citation

Pfuhlmann B, Schmidtke A. Arch. Suicide Res. 2002; 6(3): 257-267.

Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, University of Wurzburg, Germany

Copyright

(Copyright © 2002, International Academy of Suicide Research, Publisher Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

10.1080/13811110214145

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Although the elevated risk of suicide in pathological gamblers is frequently reported in studies on gambling and in the popular literature, up to now there is a lack of systematic scientific investigations and especially clinically oriented studies on this issue. This article presents an overview of epidemiological findings and aetiological hypotheses concerning suicidal behavior in pathological gamblers. In spite of several methodological shortcomings in the majority of studies, the conclusion seems to be justified that the rate of suicide attempts is increased in pathological gamblers in comparison with the rates in the total population, whereas very few usable data exist about the frequency of successful suicides. Different aetiological hypotheses for the suicidal behavior in pathological gamblers are postulated. Further methodologically sound studies are urgently needed to scrutinize the existing findings about the prevalence of suicidal behavior in pathological gamblers. In view of the absence of a greater body of empirical data, up to now aetiological hypotheses must be regarded as rather speculative.

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