Treatment outcomes in patients with internet addiction: A clinical pilot study on the effects of a cognitive-behavioral therapy program

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Abstract

Internet addiction is regarded as a growing health concern in many parts of the world with prevalence rates of 1-2% in Europe and up to 7% in some Asian countries. Clinical research has demonstrated that Internet addiction is accompanied with loss of interests, decreased psychosocial functioning, social retreat, and heightened psychosocial distress. Specialized treatment programs are needed to face this problem that has recently been added to the appendix of the DSM-5. While there are numerous studies assessing clinical characteristics of patients with Internet addiction, the knowledge about the effectiveness of treatment programs is limited. Although a recent meta-analysis indicates that those programs show effects, more clinical studies are needed here. To add knowledge, we conducted a pilot study on the effects of a standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy program for IA. 42 male adults meeting criteria for Internet addiction were enrolled. Their IA-status, psychopathological symptoms, and perceived self-efficacy expectancy were assessed before and after the treatment. The results show that 70.3% of the patients finished the therapy regularly. After treatment symptoms of IA had decreased significantly. Psychopathological symptoms were reduced as well as associated psychosocial problems. The results of this pilot study emphasize findings from the only meta-analysis conducted so far. © 2014 K. Wölfling,et al.

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Wölfling, K., Beutel, M. E., Dreier, M., & Müller, K. W. (2014). Treatment outcomes in patients with internet addiction: A clinical pilot study on the effects of a cognitive-behavioral therapy program. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/425924

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