Telemedicine treatment shows promising results in internet addiction study
Researchers have found that a webcam-based telemedicine treatment for Internet Use Disorder (IUD) is highly effective in reducing addiction symptoms
Abd. Kakhar Umar
Friday, 15 September 2023
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In a groundbreaking study, researchers have found that a webcam-based telemedicine treatment for Internet Use Disorder (IUD) is highly effective in reducing addiction symptoms (1). The study, conducted between August 2020 and March 2022, involved 180 participants randomly assigned to receive the telemedicine intervention or be placed on a waitlist control group. Results revealed that the telemedicine intervention significantly reduced IUD symptoms, with participants reporting a 34% decrease in their weekly online time.
The study, conducted according to Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidance, also showed that 62.9% of participants could be downgraded to a lower category of symptom severity after treatment. These positive effects persisted even 6 months after treatment, indicating the long-term efficacy of the telemedicine intervention. Additionally, participants reported increased motivation to change their internet use behavior and improved self-efficacy.
Dr. Jan Dieris-Hirche, the study's lead researcher, commented, "This study demonstrates the potential of webcam-based telemedicine as an effective treatment option for Internet Use Disorder. It not only reduces addiction symptoms but also empowers individuals to take control of their online behavior. This is a significant step in addressing the growing concern of internet addiction in our digital age."
The study, which was designed as a single-blinded trial, has generated excitement in the field of telemedicine and behavioral addiction treatment. While some limitations exist, such as the absence of an active control group, the study's results pave the way for future research to further explore the efficacy of telemedicine in treating behavioral addictions.
In an era where digital health solutions are gaining prominence, this study underscores the potential of telemedicine to address not only internet addiction but also other behavioral addictions, offering accessible and efficient treatment options for individuals seeking help.
1. Efficacy of a short-term webcam-based telemedicine treatment of internet use disorders (OMPRIS): a multicentre, prospective, single-blind, randomised, clinical trial Dieris-Hirche, JanBest, Annika et al. eClinicalMedicine, Volume 64, 102216