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Gambling problems and help-seeking in serving United Kingdom military personnel: A qualitative study

Hannah Champion, Amy Pritchard, Glen Dighton Orcid Logo, Simon Dymond Orcid Logo

Frontiers in Psychiatry, Volume: 13

Swansea University Authors: Glen Dighton Orcid Logo, Simon Dymond Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Introduction: In military personnel are vulnerable to gambling problems, yet many are reluctant to seek help. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experience of problem gambling and help-seeking among serving members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces.Methods: Seventeen individuals...

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Published in: Frontiers in Psychiatry
ISSN: 1664-0640
Published: Frontiers Media SA 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62189
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Abstract: Introduction: In military personnel are vulnerable to gambling problems, yet many are reluctant to seek help. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experience of problem gambling and help-seeking among serving members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces.Methods: Seventeen individuals from a larger, cross-sectional survey of gambling and wellbeing in the Royal Air Force (RAF) completed semi-structured interviews. Interview questions focused on personal experiences, the context of the RAF and its influence, knowledge and experiences of treatment and support services, and the impact of COVID-19.Results: Reflexive thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) harmful and protective occupational factors; (2) socio-cultural and personal influences; (3) organizational attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking, and (4) current support pathways and provision.Discussion: Findings also indicated that gambling and alcohol use are common within the RAF, and that personnel are actively coping with mental health challenges.
Keywords: interviews, serving personnel, gambling, alcohol, mental health, COVID-19, helpseeking
College: Professional Services
Funders: This work was supported by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.