Treatment efficacy of a specialized psychotherapy program for Internet Gaming Disorder

Torres-Rodríguez, A., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Carbonell, X. and Oberst, U., 2018. Treatment efficacy of a specialized psychotherapy program for Internet Gaming Disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7 (4), pp. 939-952. ISSN 2062-5871

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Background and aims: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has become health concern around the world, and specialized health services for the treatment of IGD are emerging. Despite the increase in such services, few studies have examined the efficacy of psychological treatments for IGD. The primary aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a specialized psychotherapy program for adolescents with IGD [i.e., the “Programa Individualizado Psicoterapéutico para la Adicción a las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación” (PIPATIC) program].

Methods: The sample comprised 31 adolescents (aged 12–18 years) from two public mental health centers who were assigned to either the (a) PIPATIC intervention experimental group or (b) standard cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) control group. The interventions were assessed at pre-, middle-, and post-treatment phases, as well as a 3-month assessment was carried out after completing the interventions.

Results: No significant differences between either group in the pre-treatment phase were found. Relating to the different interventions examined, significant differences were found at pre-test and post-test on the following variables: comorbid disorders, intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities, family relationships, and therapists’ measures. Both groups experienced a significant reduction of IGD symptoms, although the PIPATIC group experienced higher significant improvements in the remainder of the variables examined.

Discussion and conclusions: The findings suggest that PIPATIC program is effective in the treatment of IGD and its comorbid disorders/symptoms, alongside the improvement of intra- and interpersonal abilities and family relationships. However, it should also be noted that standard CBT was also effective in the treatment of IGD. Changing the focus of treatment and applying an integrative focus (including the addiction, the comorbid symptoms, intra- and interpersonal abilities, and family psychotherapy) appear to be more effective in facilitating adolescent behavior change than CBT focusing only on the IGD itself.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Creators: Torres-Rodríguez, A., Griffiths, M.D., Carbonell, X. and Oberst, U.
Publisher: Akadémiai Kiadó Zrt.
Date: 14 November 2018
Volume: 7
Number: 4
ISSN: 2062-5871
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 26 Nov 2018 16:19
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2019 10:47

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