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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Sina Zadra
,
Gallus Bischof
,
Bettina Besser
,
Anja Bischof
,
Christian Meyer
,
Ulrich John
, and
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf

Background and aims

Data on Internet addiction (IA) and its association with personality disorder are rare. Previous studies are largely restricted to clinical samples and insufficient measurement of IA.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis data are based on a German sub-sample (n = 168; 86 males; 71 meeting criteria for IA) with increased levels of excessive Internet use derived from a general population sample (n = 15,023). IA was assessed with a comprehensive standardized interview using the structure of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the criteria of Internet Gaming Disorder as suggested in DSM-5. Impulsivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and self-esteem were assessed with the widely used questionnaires.

Results

Participants with IA showed higher frequencies of personality disorders (29.6%) compared to those without IA (9.3%; p < .001). In males with IA, Cluster C personality disorders were more prevalent than among non-addicted males. Compared to participants who had IA only, lower rates of remission of IA were found among participants with IA and additional cluster B personality disorder. Personality disorders were significantly associated with IA in multivariate analysis. Discussion and conclusion: Comorbidity of IA and personality disorders must be considered in prevention and treatment.

Open access

Background and aims

Internet Addiction (IA) has consistently been related to comorbid psychiatric disorders and lowered self-esteem. However, most studies relied on self-report questionnaires using non-representative samples. This study aims to analyze the relative impact of self-esteem and comorbid psychopathology with lifetime IA in a population-based sample of excessive Internet users using clinical diagnoses assessed in a personal interview.

Methods

The sample of this study is based on a general population survey. Using the Compulsive Internet Use Scale, all participants with elevated Internet use scores were selected and invited to a follow-up interview. Current DSM-5 criteria for Internet gaming disorder were rephrased to apply to all Internet activities. Out of 196 participants, 82 fulfilled the criteria for IA. Self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale.

Results

Self-esteem is significantly associated with IA. For every unit increase in self-esteem, the chance of having IA decreased by 11%. By comparison, comorbidities such as substance-use disorder (excluding tobacco), mood disorder, and eating disorder were significantly more likely among Internet-addicted than in the non-addicted group. This could not be reported for anxiety disorders. A logistic regression showed that by adding self-esteem and psychopathology into the same model, self-esteem maintains its strong influence on IA.

Discussion and conclusions

Self-esteem was associated with IA, even after adjustment for substance-use disorders, mood disorder, and eating disorder. Self-esteem and psychopathology should be considered in prevention, intervention measures, as well as in the conception of etiological models.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Kristian Krause
,
Anja Bischof
,
Silvia Lewin
,
Diana Guertler
,
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
,
Ulrich John
, and
Christian Meyer

Background and aims

Symptoms of pathological gambling (SPG) and depression often co-occur. The nature of this relationship remains unclear. Rumination, which is well known to be associated with depression, might act as a common underlying factor explaining the frequent co-occurrence of both conditions. The aim of this study is to analyze associations between the rumination subfactors brooding and reflection and SPG.

Methods

Participants aged 14–64 years were recruited within an epidemiological study on pathological gambling in Germany. Cross-sectional data of 506 (80.4% male) individuals with a history of gambling problems were analyzed. The assessment included a standardized clinical interview. To examine the effects of rumination across different levels of problem gambling severity, sequential quantile regression was used to analyze the association between the rumination subfactors and SPG.

Results

Brooding (p = .005) was positively associated with the severity of problem gambling after adjusting for reflection, depressive symptoms, and sociodemographic variables. Along the distribution of problem gambling severity, findings hold for all but the lowest severity level. Reflection (p = .347) was not associated with the severity of problem gambling at the median. Along the distribution of problem gambling severity, there was an inverse association at only one quantile.

Discussion and conclusions

Brooding might be important in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. With its relations to depression and problem gambling, it might be crucial when it comes to explaining the high comorbidity rates between SPG and depression. The role of reflection in SPG remains inconclusive.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Andreas Hahn
,
Rebecca Hinz
,
Thomas Meyer
,
Ulrike Loderstädt
,
Ottmar Herchenröder
,
Christian G. Meyer
,
Norbert Georg Schwarz
, and
Hagen Frickmann

Introduction: German sex workers have illegally established a prevention strategy, which consists of testing potential sexual partners with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) prior to engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse eventually performed in case of a negative test result. Based on a recently established modeling approach, the effectiveness of this strategy regarding the risk of HIV exposure was compared with protection provided by condom use.

Methods: Based on a literature search, the following assumptions were used for the calculations: an averaged 80% exposure risk reduction with a condom used during sexual intercourse, usage of a well-characterized 4th-generation HIV RDT, and a 10 day post-infection period without any measurable viral load in peripheral blood followed by a seroconversion period of about 3 weeks with 12.3% test sensitivity (antigen-specific) and only afterwards 97.3% (antibody-specific) test sensitivity.

Results: In most constellations, the HIV exposure risk in case of RDT-based prevention was lower than with condom use.

Conclusions: The RDT-based HIV exposure prevention as established by sex workers is effective in most situations. A notable weakness of the strategy is the RDTs' poor sensitivity in spite of a high transmission risk during the seroconversion stage.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Hannah Schmidt
,
Dominique Brandt
,
Christian Meyer
,
Anja Bischof
,
Gallus Bischof
,
Anika Trachte
,
Bettina Besser
,
Svenja Orlowski
,
Samantha Schlossarek
,
Stefan Borgwardt
, and
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf

Abstract

Background

Adolescents and young adults (AYA) have an increased risk for Internet use disorders (IUD) compared to older individuals that may lead to functional impairments in daily life. To date, evidence-based brief interventions are lacking. This study aimed to test the efficacy of a low-threshold counseling approach based on Motivational Interviewing (MI) in a vocational school setting.

Methods

Of 8.230 vocational students (age M=20.56, SD=4.68; 51.85% female) being proactively screened for IUD, 937 with positive screenings took part in telephone-based diagnostic interviews. IUD were assessed in line with the criteria of the Internet Gaming Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Readiness to change, self-efficacy, and impairments in daily life were additionally assessed with standardized screening instruments. Participants fulfilling at least two IUD criteria were randomized to the intervention group (n=240, up to three MI-based counseling sessions via telephone) or the control group (n=257, information brochure on responsible Internet use). Follow-up interviews were conducted after five and ten months. The primary outcome was the reduction of IUD criteria. Secondary outcomes were improvements of readiness/ self-efficacy to change and the reduction of daily impairments. Data were analyzed with Intention-to-Treat (ITT) and complier average causal effect (CACE) analyses.

Results

Overall, 153 (63.75%) individuals assigned to the intervention group participated at least in one counseling session (=compliers). Both groups reduced the number of IUD criteria over time. In ITT analyses, however, we did not find intervention effects for primary and secondary outcomes. Bayes statistics were inconclusive. Based on low participation rates in the intervention group, explorative CACE analyses were conducted to compare compliers in the intervention group to potential compliers in the control group. Again, we did not find intervention effects apart from improvements in self-efficacy after five months.

Discussion

Telephone-based counseling seems not appropriate to address AYA at risk for IUD. Low participation rates in the intervention group caused underpowered analyses. Besides, dealing with the own Internet use during intensive assessments and receiving an information brochure led to behavioral changes also in the control group. Since the efficacy of brief interventions under the condition of higher participation rates cannot be fully ruled out, further research is required by taking the implications of this study into account.

Open access