Psychiatric Comorbidity and Economic Hardship as Risk Factors for Intentional Self-Harm in Gambling Disorder—A Nationwide Register Study

Anna Karlsson, Olivia Hedén, Helena Hansson, Jenny Sandgren, Anders Håkansson

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Background: There is an increased risk of suicidality in gambling disorder (GD) and economic hardship is common in the population. Economic hardship itself is a risk factor for suicidality. This study aims to explore the risk of intentional self-harm in GD utilizing social welfare payment (SWP) as a proxy for economic hardship and exploring how economic hardship, gender, criminality, socioeconomic-, and psychiatric risk factors might contribute to intentional self-harm in GD. Methods: This is a nationwide register-based study of 848 individuals diagnosed with GD in the Swedish healthcare system during the years of 2011–2014 with an average follow up of 4.9 years. Pearson's Chi-square analyses were carried out for comparisons regarding psychiatric comorbidity and intentional self-harm with regards to gender and SWPs. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression were utilized to analyse risk factors for intentional self-harm. Results: A large part of the study population received SWPs (45.5% with an insignificant overrepresentation of women) and psychiatric disorders were more common in these individuals (p < 0.001). Conviction for crime in general (p < 0.001) as well as intentional self-harm (p = 0.025) were also more common amongst recipients of SWPs. Criminal conviction in general was abundant (26.5%). In the stepwise multivariable regression, substance-related diagnoses as well as anxiety, depressive, and personality disorders remained risk factors for intentional self-harm and no significant results were found with regards to gender, criminal history, or SWPs. Conclusions: Social welfare payment was common among GD patients and intentional self-harm was more common amongst recipients than GD patients as a whole. Social welfare payments were however not a significant risk factor for intentional self-harm. However, attention to suicidality and self-injurious behavior should be paid from social services controlling SWPs due to the large prevalence of intentional self-harm in this group. In accordance with previous studies, comorbid psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance use, and personality disorders increased the risk of intentional self-harm.

TidskriftFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatusPublished - 2021

Bibliografisk information

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Karlsson, Hedén, Hansson, Sandgren and Håkansson.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Psykiatri


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