Gambling Disorders 360°

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The NCRG’s Impact on the Field of Research: 10,000 Citations and Counting

by: NCRG Staff | Mar 21, 2012

How does one measure the impact of research on a field of study and its implications on health care? The NCRG recently completed an analysis of its research grants to understand how the organization is helping to foster a better understanding of gambling disorders and responsible gaming. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is one way to assess the quality of the research and measure impact on the field. Not only did the count of publications from NCRG-funded research surpass 200 articles, but an analysis using Google Scholar revealed that these publications have been cited more than 10,000 times in the scientific literature.

The following is a top 10 list of the most cited publications generated from NCRG-supported grants:

Title Date Journal First Author Citation
Estimating the prevalence of disordered gambling behavior in the United States and Canada: a research synthesis 1999 American Journal of Public Health Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S. 930
Functional imaging of neural responses to expectancy and experience of monetary gains and losses 2001 Neuron Hans Breiter, M.D. 872
Developmental neurocircuitry of motivation in adolescence: a critical period of addiction vulnerability 2003 The American Journal of Psychiatry R. Andrew Chambers, M.D. 591
Beautiful faces have variable reward value: fMRI and behavioral evidence 2001 Neuron Itzhak Aharon, Ph.D. 496
Reward deficiency syndrome: a biogenetic model for the diagnosis and treatment of impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behaviors 2000 Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Kenneth Blum, Ph.D. 411
Cognitive and behavioral treatment of pathological gambling: a controlled study 1997 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Caroline Sylvain, Ph.D. 291
Gambling and the health of the public: Adopting a public health perspective 1999 Journal of Gambling Studies David Korn, M.D. 265
Double-blind naltrexone and placebo comparison study in the treatment of pathological gambling 2001 Biological Psychiatry Suck Won Kim, M.D. 261
Updating and refining prevalence estimates of disordered gambling behaviour in the United States and Canada 2001 Canadian Journal of Public Health Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S. 224
Gambling and related mental disorders: A public health analysis 2002 Annual Review of Public Health Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S. 212

Another way to measure impact is to analyze the quality of journals in which NCRG-funded studies are published. Although peer-reviewed journals employ the same methods of independent review to ensure scientific quality, not all journals are equal in their impact. Impact Factor (IF) is calculated by counting the amount of citations a given journal has over a certain time period, and it is published on a yearly basis by Thomson Reuters.

The charts below show the 10 NCRG funded articles with the highest IF:

Title Date Journal First Author Impact Factor
Pathological gambling 2001 The Journal of the American Medical Association Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. 17.569
Decreased absolute amygdala volume in cocaine addicts 2004 Neuron Nikos Makris, Ph.D. 14.439
Functional imaging of neural responses to expectancy and experience of monetary gains and losses 2001 Neuron Hans Breiter, M.D. 14.153
Beautiful faces have variable reward value: fMRI and behavioral evidence 2001 Neuron Itzhak Aharon, Ph.D. 14.153
Gambling urges in pathological gambling: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study 2003 Archives of General Psychiatry >Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. 10.519
Doubts about double dissociations between short- and long-term memory 2005 Trends in Cognitive Science Charan Ranganath, Ph.D. 9.155
Medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter is reduced in abstinent substance-dependent individuals 2009 Biological Psychiatry Jody Tanabe, M.D. 8.926
Found in translation: understanding impulsivity and related constructs through integrative preclinical and clinical research 2009 Biological Psychiatry Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. 8.926
Molecular heterosis as the explanation for the controversy about the effect of the DRD2 gene on dopamine D2 receptor density 1999 Molecular Psychiatry David Comings, M.D. 7.942
SNPs and polygenic disorders: a less gloomy view 1999 Molecular Psychiatry David Comings, M.D. 7.942

The articles listed in the above charts tell a story that is about more than simply numbers. Many have had an impact on the foundation on which scientists approach gambling disorders. For example, before the Shaffer & Korn article (2001), few researchers conceptualized gambling as a public health issue. Now, it is commonplace in studies and at conference presentations to examine gambling from a public health perspective. In terms of treatment, the 1997 study of naltrexone by University of Minnesota researchers (Kim, Grant, Adson, & Shin, 2001) opened the door to numerous clinical trials of this drug by demonstrating its safety and effectiveness.

The second aspect of impact is what is known as the transition from science to practice or, as scientists would say, “from bench to bedside.” How do we translate research findings into therapeutic interventions for patients? Some researchers estimate that it takes 12 to 15 years for scientific research to trickle down to the grassroots level of health care. That is why the NCRG’s mission to educate and disseminate research findings is so vital.

Last year, more than 1,000 healthcare providers participated in the NCRG’s workshops, webinars and the annual conference. These educational programs were designed to connect clinicians with the latest research and provide them with tools in their practice. For example, Dr. Randy Stinchfield of the University of Minnesota led a workshop for alcohol and drug counselors on the various instruments used to assess pathological gambling as well as GAMTOMS, an NCRG-funded instrument for gauging treatment outcomes. A workshop on brief interventions by Dr. Matthew Martens of the University of Missouri - Columbia demonstrated that such interventions can be effective with all ages, especially for individuals otherwise resistant to getting help for their gambling problem.

The NCRG will continue to strive for major impact through its research grants program and educational offerings as we pursue the mission of increasing understanding of gambling disorders and finding effective treatment strategies.

For more information on the NCRG grants and educational programs, visit www.ncrg.org.

References

Kim, S. W., Grant, J. E., Adson, D. E., & Shin, Y. C. (2001). Double-blind naltrexone and placebo comparison study in the treatment of pathological gambling. Biological Psychiatry, 49(11), 914-21. doi:S0006322301010794 [pii]

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