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Dilemmas of help-seeking

Project title Dilemmas of help-seeking – needs, experiences and barriers of contact with care in the case of gambling and alcohol

Project time 2018-2019

Funding The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte)

Project description

Few of those with gambling/alcohol problems seek help, which is unfortunate considering the vast individual and societal consequences. The responsibility for offering support and treatment for gambling problems is currently subject to new legislation in Sweden. Knowledge on help-seeking needs, preferences and barriers is however insufficient in a Swedish context. The focus of this research project is how persons with excessive gambling/alcohol consumption (problems that often co-occur) themselves reasons about their needs of treatment, barriers and preferences for help-seeking (social services, primary, psychiatric or addiction care, NGOs, internet or telephone support). Further, the importance of previous contacts with care, stigma and differences between gambling and alcohol in these respects is explored. Of interest is also use of various responsible gambling tools and treatment experiences for reducing gambling habits.

The study applies qualitative methods where about 60 individuals with varying experiences and problems are interviewed. A theoretical model of the help-seeking process is applied in the analysis and adjusted to a Swedish context.


The study gives knowledge of importance for designing relevant and attractive help-options for people with gambling/alcohol problems, which could reduce such problems at an earlier stage and increase compliance and retention in treatment.


The results will be published in international and national journals. Information about current publications will be updated on the website.

Contact person

For more information about the study, contact Eva Samuelsson:

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Postal address
Department of Social Work
Stockholm University
SE - 10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Visiting address
Department of Social Work
Sveavägen 160
Stockholm, Sweden

Head of department
Director of postgraduate studies