Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Part C - Recommendations

Overall, expert review and analysis of the harms questions within the pilot gambling prevalence survey suggested that question development process was robust and the questions presented to the survey participants were clear and unambiguous.

The resulting set of questions captured important domains of harms including financial, relationship, and health harms. It was particularly encouraging that similar numbers of men and women endorsed the harms questions.

As the development of these questions is an ongoing priority, the following improvements were suggested.

1. Include a broader range of harm issues in questions

The range of harms included in the question set were heavily weighted towards financial harms.

The Commission should review their prior pilot data to establish a more balanced set of questions, covering a broader range of issues. For instance, questions related to productivity (for example, absenteeism or presenteeism at school and/or work), health (both physical and mental health), as well as other wellbeing measures could be added. This would give the resulting set of questions closer correspondence to the theoretical frameworks which underpin them.

2. Change scaled response options to have more equally spaced responses

The pilot data showed that questions which used scaled answer options were not performing in the way expected, with fewer people reporting experiencing each harm ‘a little’ than ‘a lot’.

The scaling between answer options is also uneven. Combined, this raises uncertainty about whether those experiencing something 'a little' are actually experiencing harms or rather experiencing the potential for harms. We recommend changing the scaled response options to have more equally spaced responses (if it is to be retained). We also recommend experimental work comparing results between harms questions using binary yes and no answer options and (revised) scaled answer options.

Currently, scaled answer options are used in the measurement of problem gambling which allows people to express endorsement without having to specify 'yes' in concrete terms. Retaining some flexibility in responses might be wise, given the stigma that surrounds gambling harms. However, this should be tested further.

3. Consider how scaled answer options are reported

Relatedly, if scaled answer options are retained, the Commission will need to consider how it reports summary statistics from these questions and how these are defined. For example, what level of endorsement most likely indicates that negative consequences are being incurred?

4. Revise the filter question into the harms from others section

The filter question into the ‘harms from others’ questions should be revised. The current question appears to under-report the number of people who know people close to them who gamble. This will then lead to underestimation of harms from others.

5. Change ordering of the harms questions

The ordering of the harms questions should be changed so that items relating to less severe harms are presented first.

6. Review wording of all harms questions

The question wording of all harms questions should be further reviewed by questionnaire development experts.

7. Continue collecting data on suicide ideation and attempted suicide

Methodologically, it is encouraging that there was some endorsement of the gambling-related suicide question within the pilot. This should be included in the next phase of development work to assess further.

Previous page
Developing gambling-related harms survey questions - Part B - Analysis of pilot data
Next page
Developing gambling-related harms survey questions - Appendix A
Is this page useful?
Back to top