Pathological gambling is a disorder of impulse control that is gaining more and more attention. This paper reviews diagnostic criteria and screening instruments for pathological gambling, as well as the prevalence rates of this disorder worldwide, with an emphasis on gambling in Brazil. Treatments for pathological gambling are also described, including both psychosocial and pharmacological approaches. Pathological gambling is highly comorbid with other psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse and depression, and few pathological gamblers seek treatment for their gambling problems. Therefore, direct screening for gambling problems is recommended. Increasing education about the disorder, from both the provider and societal perspective, is necessary to reduce the personal and societal consequences of this disorder.
Gambling; Pathologic processes; Comorbidity; Outcome assessment; Clinical protocols