Preventing problematic internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic: consensus guidance

Király, O., Potenza, M.N., Stein, D.J., King, D.L., Hodgins, D.C., Saunders, J.B., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Gjoneska, B., Billieux, J., Brand, M., Abbott, M.W., Chamberlain, S.R., Corazza, O., Burkauskas, J., Sales, C.M.D., Montag, C., Lochner, C., Grünblatt, E., Wegmann, E., Martinotti, G., Lee, H.K., Rumpf, H.-J., Castro-Calvo, J., Rahimi-Movaghar, A., Higuchi, S., Menchon, J.M., Zohar, J., Pellegrini, L., Walitza, S., Fineberg, N.A. and Demetrovics, Z., 2020. Preventing problematic internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic: consensus guidance. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 100: 152180. ISSN 0010-440X

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Abstract

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have introduced steps such as spatial distancing and “staying at home” to curb its spread and impact. The fear resulting from the disease, the ‘lockdown’ situation, high levels of uncertainty regarding the future, and financial insecurity raise the level of stress, anxiety, and depression experienced by people all around the world. Psychoactive substances and other reinforcing behaviors (e.g., gambling, video gaming, watching pornography) are often used to reduce stress and anxiety and/or to alleviate depressed mood. The tendency to use such substances and engage in such behaviors in an excessive manner as putative coping strategies in crises like the COVID-19 pandemic is considerable. Moreover, the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) is even higher in the present crisis than usual. ICT has been crucial in keeping parts of the economy going, allowing large groups of people to work and study from home, enhancing social connectedness, providing greatly needed entertainment, etc. Although for the vast majority ICT use is adaptive and should not be pathologized, a subgroup of vulnerable individuals are at risk of developing problematic usage patterns. The present consensus guidance discusses these risks and makes some practical recommendations that may help diminish them.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Comprehensive Psychiatry
Creators: Király, O., Potenza, M.N., Stein, D.J., King, D.L., Hodgins, D.C., Saunders, J.B., Griffiths, M.D., Gjoneska, B., Billieux, J., Brand, M., Abbott, M.W., Chamberlain, S.R., Corazza, O., Burkauskas, J., Sales, C.M.D., Montag, C., Lochner, C., Grünblatt, E., Wegmann, E., Martinotti, G., Lee, H.K., Rumpf, H.-J., Castro-Calvo, J., Rahimi-Movaghar, A., Higuchi, S., Menchon, J.M., Zohar, J., Pellegrini, L., Walitza, S., Fineberg, N.A. and Demetrovics, Z.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: July 2020
Volume: 100
ISSN: 0010-440X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152180DOI
S0010440X20300225Publisher Item Identifier
1326174Other
Rights: Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 18 May 2020 09:27
Last Modified: 18 May 2020 09:27
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39864

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