Intervening in Problematic Internet Use

2018-08-28 21:53:13 | BioPortfolio


The present study examines the efficacy of a brief intervention for problematic Internet use based on Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in a sample of students screened proactively in vocational schools in Northern Germany. Participants will be randomized in an intervention and a control group. It is hypothesized that after 12 months, participants of the intervention group fulfill less DSM-5 criteria for Internet use disorders, spend less time in the Internet, and suffer from less negative consequences caused by the problematic Internet use, compared to the control group.


Problematic Internet use is an increasing problem, especially in younger age groups. A population-based study revealed elevated prevalences in adolescents and young adults. The present study aims to provide an intervention for this vulnerable group to change the problematic Internet use. This is suggested to prevent the development of more severe forms of dependence. Brief interventions using MI and elements of CBT have shown to be an adequate method to change addictive behaviors.

For the recruitment, students of vocational schools in the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg in Northern Germany are screened proactively in classes. Participants fulfilling at least 21 points on the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) receive a diagnostic telephone interview. If fulfilling at least 2 DSM-5 criteria, participants will be randomly allocated to two conditions: (1) Intervention group with up to three telephone counseling sessions based on MI, (2) Control group receiving a booklet on problematic Internet use. Outcome measures are a reduction of DSM-5 criteria for Internet use disorders, a reduction of time spent on the Internet, and a reduction of negative consequences caused by the problematic Internet use. The efficacy of the intervention will be examined after 6 and 12 months in follow-up interviews.

Study Design


Internet Use Disorders


Motivational Interviewing


University of Lübeck




University of Luebeck

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-08-28T21:53:13-0400

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