Online dialectical behavioral therapy for adults with internet addiction: A quasi-experimental trial during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kristiana Siste, Enjeline Hanafi, Adrian, Lee Thung Sen, Peter Alison, Evania Beatrice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The pathological use of the Internet has surged during the pandemic, even though service provisions were negatively impacted. Telepsychiatry can be used as a solution to maintain psychiatric addiction services. This study examined the efficacy of online group dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) for Internet addiction (IA), compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Participants were divided into two arms for 8 weeks: the experimental arm received eight sessions of online DBT skill group training (n = 20), and the control arm received four sessions of online individual CBT (n = 20). All participants were required to complete a sociodemographic and Internet use survey, the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA). All participants completed the therapy. Of the 40 participants, six (15%) perceived the need for therapy and one (2.5%) participant had a history of seeking IA therapy. In the pre-post comparison, significant improvements were noted in the IAT and URICA scores as well as Internet use duration for both arms. No significant differences were observed across the arms and in the time-by-arm interaction. Online group DBT is a viable alternative to online CBT in an acute constrained setting, although further studies are required to scrutinize its long-term efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114698
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume315
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Behavioral addiction
  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Group therapy
  • Telepsychiatry

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