- Short-term outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) showed benefit for inducing remission of Internet and computer game addiction in a randomised trial.
Why this matters
- Gaming disorder, a subtype of internet addiction (IA), was recently introduced as a new diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision.
- Study of 143 men (age, 17-52 years) meeting criteria for IA in the past 6 months, randomly assigned to either short-term treatment for internet and computer game addiction (STICA; n=72) or a waitlist control group (n=71).
- STICA was 15-week, CBT-based, manualised treatment.
- Funding: German Research Foundation.
- Participants in the STICA vs control group had 10 times higher remission rate (69.4% vs 23.9%; aOR, 10.10; P<.001>
- Effect sizes differences that favoured STICA group at treatment termination were:
- Clinician-rated assessment of Internet and computer game addiction (difference, 1.63).
- Self-reported assessment of Internet and computer game addiction (difference, 1.37).
- Time spent online on weekdays (difference, 1.13).
- Time spent online on weekends (difference, 0.96).
- Global Assessment of Functioning score (difference, 0.61).
- Depression (difference, 0.38).
- 2 serious adverse events were reported in the control group and 6 in the STICA group.
- Self-reported data.
- Study limited to men.