PLEASE pont out my grammar mistakes and suggestion. THX
The purpose of using assessment tool is to identify problem gambling, and gather the detailed information needed to find a treatment plan or Intervention strategies relevant to the client's needs. Many standardised assessment tools and interview protocols are available to help the health professionals perform appropriate screening for people having problem gambling. In Howard's case we have to select an assessment tool that can help us to identify the severity of his gambling problem, if any. Howard might not have a gambling addiction and his risky behaviours could have caused by other issues such as mid-life crisis, conflict at work, medical condition or family problems.
I ruled out using Jacob's 5 Dissociation Questions on Howard. In this assessment tool in order to prove if someone is at risk. It needs only one out five answers to determines that the person is in dissociation while gambling. However, all the five questions are concerning of mental health issues. Since every individual has different feeling, it is difficult to define questions regarding "memory blackout" and "trance" while gambling, if a lack of understanding of a question that could produce a false result. Problem gambling is a complex social issue; use of five questions is not thorough enough for assessment.
For the most part, The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) has been the preferred instrument among researchers assessing the prevalence of pathological or problem gambling in the general population. One main reason is that it is the instrument that has received the most validity and reliability testing (Shaffer et al., 1997). This tool is widely used by clinicians to assess pathological or problem gamblers. This assessment tool consists of 20 questions with multiple choice answers, but not all the questions used to measure client's risk factors. All the questions are straightforward and easy to understand. However, I am sceptical if this is a foolproof tool, although it is so widely used by clinicians. From my point of view, majority of the questions are on the subject of money, it sounded like the main issue of problem gambling is all about losing money. How about the winner of the World Poker tournament who had won more than six million dollar with many years of gambling experience. Is he not considered as a compulsive gambler?
Personally, I like the Gamblers Anonymous (GA) 20 questions which have a soft approach with some spiritual components and do not have the seriousness of a clinical tool. I believe this assessment tool might be suitable to use on Howard. Given that Howard is an educated man and has a responsible job in the bank. Since most of the questions are open-ended that will give him the opportunity to express his feeling and opinion about his risky behaviours. In the GA assessment tool, just about half of the questions are regarding money, and the rests of the questions emphasize on family relationships and mental health issues. This tool could be useful to help him to discover the roots of his problem, instead of just labelled him as a problem gambler.
According to the findings of Ferris (1996), Single male between the age groups of 18-29 and 40-49 were more likely to report gambling problems, with 30 to 39-year-olds less involved, and those 50 and up in age reporting the fewest gambling problems. Howard is a 55 year-old successful married man. In term of statistic, he is not a typical problem gambler. It is important to ask Howard about his health effect and his relationship with his wife. Is Howard suffering from mid-life crisis, using gambling to escape his boredom, depression and tension? Is he having marital problem?
Interpersonal plays a major role on how an individual interacting with others in the society or the reasons of engaging in a risky behaviour. If Howard's gambling behaviour is caused by family conflict with his spouse then perhaps marriage counselling may be effective to resolve the problem than addiction counselling. The goal of assessment is to identify what are the presenting problems so that a successful treatment plan can be implemented for his healing. The long term goal is for Howard to abstain from gambling or even reduce the harm, by using his own ability, prospective and strength to solve his own problem with the options and resources available to him.