Long-term effects of psychosocial interventions on internet-related disorders: A meta-analysis

Camilla K.M. Lo, Ko Ling Chan, Lu Yu, William Wing Ho Chui, Patrick Ip

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Previous meta-analytic reviews show that psychosocial interventions targeting Internet addiction and gaming disorder have positive effects on improving the addiction severity, time spent online, and some mental health symptoms. However, the impacts on other outcomes such as psychosocial competence and well-being, and the sustainability of the intervention effects are unclear. This meta-analysis aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of available evidence on the effectiveness of intervention on these broader range of intervention outcomes. A systematic search retrieved relevant studies published before March 31, 2022. A total of 34 studies (N = 2218) met the inclusion criteria, yielding a significant intervention effect with a large pooled effect size (Cohen's d = 1.790; 95% CI [1.365, 2.214], p < .001) on addiction severity and the effect sustained during a 6-month follow up period, although the effect size slightly decreased at 1-month. The interventions also had positive effects on a wide range of outcomes, such as time spent online, inattentiveness or impulsivity, anxiety, depression, internalizing and externalizing problems, general health, relationship quality, social competence, peer or social problems, and life satisfaction or quality of life. The moderator analyses revealed various study and intervention characteristics that influenced the effect sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107465
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Gaming disorder
  • Internet addiction
  • Intervention
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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