Efficacy of a short-term webcam-based telemedicine treatment of internet use disorders (OMPRIS)

  • \(\bf Background\) Evidence-based \(\underline {treatments}\) for internet use disorders (IUDs) are limited, and online therapy approaches are poorly studied. We investigated the efficacy of a manualised therapist-guided online intervention (OMPRIS) to reduce IUD \(\underline {symptoms}\) and improve psychological well-being. \(\bf Methods\) In this multicentre, two-arm, single-blinded trial, individuals ≥16 years suffering from IUD symptoms were recruited in Germany from August 16, 2020, to March 11, 2022, through media advertisements and healthcare providers. Participants were randomly allocated by sequential balancing randomisation (1:1) to either the manualised webcam-based OMPRIS intervention or a waitlist control (WLC) group. OMPRIS provided strategies from motivational interviewing, behavioural therapy, and social counselling. The primary outcome at the end of treatment was a reduction in IUD symptoms as measured by the Assessment of Internet and Computer Scale (AICA-S). Follow-up assessments were conducted at 6 weeks and 6 months. Analyses were performed in the intention-to-treat population. This trial was registered (German \(\underline {Clinical}\) \(\underline {Trial}\) Register, DRKS00019925) and has been completed. \(\bf Findings\) A total of 180 individuals were randomly assigned to the OMPRIS intervention (n = 89) or WLC (n = 91) arm. After treatment, 81 (91.0%) participants in the OMPRIS intervention group and 88 (96.7%) in the WLC group completed the outcome assessment. The \(\underline {ANCOVA}\) model showed that OMPRIS participants had a significantly greater reduction in AICA-S scores from baseline (mean score 12.1 [SD 4.6]) to post-treatment (6.8 [5.2]) than those in the WLC group (from 12.6 [5.1] to 11.0 [5.4]; estimated mean difference −3.9; [95% CI −5.2 to −2.6]; p < 0.0001; d = 0.92). No adverse events were reported to the trial team. \(\bf Interpretation\) Webcam-based OMPRIS therapy was effective and superior to waiting list conditions in reducing IUD symptoms. Webcam-based, specialised online therapy thus increases IUD treatment options.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Jan Dieris-HircheORCiDGND, Laura BottelORCiDGND, Jale BastenGND, Magdalena PapeORCiDGND, Nina TimmesfeldORCiDGND, Bert te WildtGND, Birte Linny GeislerGND, Klaus WölflingGND, Peter HenningsenORCiDGND, Manfred BeutelORCiDGND, Anja NiemannGND, Rainer BeckersGND, Stephan HerpertzORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/1016/j.eclinm.2023. 102216
Parent Title (English):eClinicalMedicine
Subtitle (English):a multicentre, prospective, single-blind, randomised, clinical trial
Publisher:Elsevier B.V.
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/03/04
Date of first Publication:2023/09/14
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Gaming disorder; Internet addiction; Internet use disorder; Online therapy; Telemedicine; Treatment
Issue:Artikel 102216
First Page:102216-1
Last Page:102216-12
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:LWL-Universitätsklinikum Bochum, Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International