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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 944085, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933919

ABSTRACT

Internet addiction is a serious problem among young adults that requires increased attention, especially at a time of distance learning during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of the study was to assess the relationships between internet addiction and selected socio-demographic, study-related, and psychological characteristics of college students. Internet addiction was measured using the Internet Addiction Test both overall and in its individual subscales (Salience, Excessive Use, Neglect Work, Anticipation, Lack of Control, and Neglect Social Life). The selected characteristics represented (1) socio-demographic profile (gender, age, residence, family), (2) academic profile (housing during the semester, form of study), and (3) psychological profile (depressive symptoms-the Patient Health Questionnaire, stress-the Perceived Stress Scale, anxiety symptoms-the Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Data collection took place during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 at Czech and Slovak colleges, with 1,422 students from the Czech Republic and 1,677 students from Slovakia participating in the research. The analytical processes were carried out through descriptive analysis, non-parametric difference analysis, and multiple negative binomial regression. Mild internet addiction was found in 387 (27.2%) Czech and 452 (27.0%) Slovak students. Moderate internet addiction was identified in 49 (3.4%) students from the Czech Republic and in 100 (6.0%) students from Slovakia. Two (0.1%) Czech and three (0.2%) Slovak students reported severe internet addiction. Increased likelihood of internet addiction overall, as well as in most individual subscales, was found particularly among male students and students who lived away from home during the semester. Depressive symptoms and stress could also be considered significant predictors in both countries. These results are important for the development of effective strategies and prevention programs, as Internet addiction may be a serious problem in the future, given the current times. When assessing internet addiction among college students, it would also be appropriate to evaluate the individual internet addiction subscales and their specifics.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Czech Republic/epidemiology , Demography , Humans , Internet Addiction Disorder/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Slovakia/epidemiology , Students/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
2.
Addict Behav ; 132: 107342, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803340

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The American Psychiatric Association (APA) proposed 'Internet Gaming Disorder' (IGD) as a tentative disorder (APA framework) in 2013 and in 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) has fully recognized 'Gaming Disorder' (GD) as a mental health disorder (WHO framework). These two frameworks have not yet been jointly investigated in the context of esports. The present study aims to investigate the feasibility of the APA and WHO frameworks for disordered gaming among professional and non-professional gamers and to ascertain the suitability of existing psychometric tools for use in esports. METHODS: A sample of 5,734 gamers (Mage = 21.47 years, SD = 6.69 years; 6.94% female) recruited through an online survey prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that included an age and gender matched group of professional (n = 2,867) and non-professional gamers (n = 2,867) was investigated. Pairwise comparisons, measurement invariance (MI), and latent mean difference tests were conducted to distinguish the two groups of gamers. RESULTS: Overall, professional gamers showed greater time spent gaming and prevalence of disordered gaming than non-professional gamers. Additionally, MI was supported and both disordered gaming levels and latent means were significantly higher among professional gamers when compared to non-professional gamers across both APA and WHO frameworks. CONCLUSIONS: Esports is cross-sectionally associated with greater disordered gaming vulnerability through increased time spent gaming and disordered gaming prevalence rates. Furthermore, the APA and WHO frameworks are viable in the context of esports gaming with existing assessment tools being effective in the assessment of disordered gaming in esports. The results and implications are further discussed in light of the extant literature.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Video Games , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Internet , Internet Addiction Disorder , Male , Pandemics , Video Games/psychology , Young Adult
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765712

ABSTRACT

The negative association between the growth mindset and mental health problems suggests that prevention and intervention programs to improve mental health by targeting mindset may have potential clinical value. However, research on the longitudinal effect of mindset on adolescent mental health and its underlying mechanisms is lacking. Using a three-wave longitudinal design, we obtained data from a diverse sample of Chinese adolescents (n = 2543). Longitudinal multiple mediation models were constructed to examine the effects of the growth mindset on levels of anxiety and depression two years later. In addition, the mediating effects of smartphone use for entertainment and problematic smartphone use (PSU) were examined. After controlling for various covariates and the autoregressive effects of mental health problems, the growth mindset had significant negative effects on anxiety (ß = -0.053, p = 0.004) and depression (ß = -0.074, p < 0.001). Smartphone use had a significant mediating role in the effect of mindset on anxiety (ß = -0.016, p < 0.001) and depression (ß = -0.016, p < 0.001). The growth mindset has long-lasting positive effects on adolescent mental health. Smartphone use for entertainment and PSU mediate the effect of mindset on adolescent mental health.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , Smartphone , Adolescent , Anxiety/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Humans , Mental Health
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760610

ABSTRACT

Internet pornography use (IPU) refers to Internet-based sexually explicit materials that are ultimately used to elicit sexual feelings or thoughts. The accessibility of Internet pornography could lead to excessive exposure to pornographic messages, posing a risk to heavy users' psychological health. This paper offers a preliminary understanding of the relationship between Internet pornography use and psychological distress among emerging adults and the moderating role of gender in the association. This cross-sectional study has taken a purposive sampling approach to recruit 144 emerging adult pornography users via the online survey method. The results indicated that males reported having more problematic Internet pornography use, and there were no gender differences in psychological distress. Meanwhile, gender is a significant moderator between Internet pornography use and psychological distress. The females were found to be more psychologically affected by their problematic Internet pornography use than the males. Overall, this study has provided a novel finding of the moderating role of gender in problematic Internet pornography use and psychological distress in the Malaysian context. This study also calls for a gender-focused sexual health programme for Malaysian emerging adults. Furthermore, the scores of problematic IPU in this study raise a concern over the effectiveness of current sex education in Malaysia. The scores may highlight the need to provide education targeting Internet pornography use.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , Psychological Distress , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Erotica/psychology , Female , Humans , Internet , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Sexual Behavior/psychology
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715341

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased stress factors affected people's motivations to engage in potentially addictive behaviors. Sexuality, understood as one of the psychological aspects to be investigated to explore the level of psychological well-being of a person, has suffered considerable repercussions due to the pandemic. A growing body of evidence suggests an unprecedented increase in Internet use and online pornography consumption during the pandemic. Since March 2020, during the lockdown period, Pornhub has seen a worldwide increase in pornography use of 11.6% compared to the previous average days. This research was conducted with the aim of exploring the possible increasing use of pornographic material during the lockdown period, in order to assess whether dysfunctional behaviors, such as compulsive behaviors, and thoughts of sex-related obsessives can lead to hypersexual behavior or a more severe Sexual Addiction. The individuals who participated in our research were 18 years of age or older (mean 23.1, s.d. 5.8), and 48% male and 52% females and were recruited online to complete a self-report questionnaire in the period between April 2020 and April 2021. The questionnaires were delivered via main social networks. The tool used for our survey was the SAST (Sexual Addiction Screening Test), a questionnaire including socio-demographic data and data relating to sexual practices, such as sexual orientation and time spent on the Internet for sexual activities. The results revealed significant differences concerning the various factors investigated such as loss of control, addictive symptoms and hide score.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Public Health ; 205: 72-78, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712937

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Online platforms enable real-time trading activities that are similar to those of gambling. This study aimed to investigate the associations of traditional investing, real-time stock trading, and cryptocurrency trading with excessive behavior and mental health problems. STUDY DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional population-based survey. METHODS: The participants were Finnish people aged 18-75 years (N = 1530, 50.33% male). Survey asked about monthly regular investing, real-time stock-trading platform use, and cryptocurrency trading. The study had measures for excessive behavior: gambling (Problem Gambling Severity Index), gaming (Internet Gaming Disorder Test), internet use (Compulsive Internet Use Scale), and alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test). Psychological distress (Mental Health Inventory), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), COVID-19 anxiety, and perceived loneliness were also measured. Background factors included sociodemographic variables, instant loan taking, and involvement in social media identity bubbles (Identity Bubble Reinforcement Scale). Multivariate analyses were conducted with regression analysis. RESULTS: Within the sample, 22.29% were categorized into monthly regular investors only, 3.01% were investors using real-time stock-trading platforms, and 3.59% were cryptomarket traders. Real-time stock-trading platform use and cryptocurrency trading were associated with younger age and male gender. Cryptomarket traders were more likely to have an immigrant background and have taken instant loans. Both real-time stock-trading platform use and cryptomarket trading were associated with higher excessive behavior. Cryptomarket traders especially reported higher excessive gambling, gaming, and internet use than others. Cryptomarket traders reported also higher psychological distress, perceived stress, and loneliness. CONCLUSIONS: Regular investing is not a risk factor for excessive behavior. However, rapid online trading platforms and applications were significantly more commonly used by participants reporting excessive behavior and mental health problems. The strong association between cryptomarket trading and excessive behavior in particular underlines the need to acknowledge the potential risks related to real-time trading platforms.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Gambling , Anxiety Disorders , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Gambling/epidemiology , Gambling/psychology , Humans , Internet , Male
7.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(1): 291-297, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639397

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has profoundly affected the social fabric and the economic and health care viability and functioning of most countries. Aside from its deeply destructive impact on health care systems and national economies, the pandemic has jeopardized people's emotional and psychological well-being as well. The authors aimed to shed a light on how the pandemic has been affecting patients with addiction issues and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is characterized by negative thoughts about appearance and body misperceptions. People with body dysmorphic disorder are in fact at increased risk of developing substance use disorders, and such a destructive association has only been made more severe by pandemic-related restrictions, emotional distress and anxiety, as well as longer exposure to social media and online interactions. This is a major cause for concern, because substance use worsens symptoms of BDD and contributes to unfavorable treatment outcomes.


Subject(s)
Body Image/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Anxiety , Behavior, Addictive/complications , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Body Dysmorphic Disorders/complications , Body Dysmorphic Disorders/epidemiology , Body Dysmorphic Disorders/psychology , Humans , Social Media , Substance-Related Disorders/complications
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261023, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630607

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the use of digital devices, especially smartphones, remarkably increased. Smartphone use belongs to one's daily routine, but can negatively impact physical and mental health, performance, and relationships if used excessively. The present study aimed to investigate potential correlates of problematic smartphone use (PSU) severity and the mechanisms underlying its development. Data of 516 smartphone users from Germany (Mage = 31.91, SDage = 12.96) were assessed via online surveys in April and May 2021. PSU severity was significantly negatively associated with sense of control. In contrast, it was significantly positively linked to fear of missing out (FoMO), repetitive negative thinking (RNT), and daily time spent on smartphone use. In a moderated mediation analysis, the negative relationship between sense of control and PSU severity was significantly mediated by FoMO. RNT significantly moderated the positive association between FoMO and PSU severity. Specifically, the higher the RNT, the stronger the relationship between FoMO and PSU. The present findings disclose potential mechanisms that could contribute to PSU. Potential ways of how to reduce PSU severity are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Internal-External Control , Smartphone/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Fear/psychology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Thinking , Young Adult
9.
J Behav Addict ; 10(2): 361-370, 2021 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518390

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several behaviors, besides consumption of psychoactive substances, produce short-term reward that may lead to persistent aberrant behavior despite adverse consequences. Growing evidence suggests that these behaviors warrant consideration as nonsubstance or "behavioral" addictions, such as pathological gambling, internet gaming disorder and internet addiction. CASE PRESENTATION: Here, we report two cases of behavioral addictions (BA), compulsive sexual behavior disorder for online porn use and internet gaming disorder. A 57-years-old male referred a loss of control over his online pornography use, started 15 years before, while a 21-years-old male university student reported an excessive online gaming activity undermining his academic productivity and social life. Both patients underwent a high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) protocol over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (l-DLPFC) in a multidisciplinary therapeutic setting. A decrease of addictive symptoms and an improvement of executive control were observed in both cases. DISCUSSION: Starting from these clinical observations, we provide a systematic review of the literature suggesting that BAs share similar neurobiological mechanisms to those underlying substance use disorders (SUD). Moreover, we discuss whether neurocircuit-based interventions, such as rTMS, might represent a potential effective treatment for BAs.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Behavior, Addictive/therapy , Erotica/psychology , Internet Addiction Disorder/psychology , Internet Addiction Disorder/therapy , Prefrontal Cortex/physiology , Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
10.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 150, 2021 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295475

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The lives of many children and adolescents are today increasingly influenced by new technological devices, including smartphones. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic occurred in a time of outstanding scientific progress and global digitalization. Young people had relevant adverse psychological and behavioral effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly related to infection control measures, which led them to spend more time at home and with major use of technological tools. The goal this study proposes is to evaluate health and social outcomes of smartphone overuse among Italian children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing patterns and aims of utilization, as well as the eventual presence and degree of addiction. METHODS: This study was based on a self-report and anonymous questionnaire, which was administered to 184 Italian school-age (6-18 years) children and adolescents during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The test was electronically (email, whatsapp) explained and sent by pediatricians either directly to older children (middle and high school), or indirectly, through the help of teachers, to younger ones (primary school). All participants spontaneously and voluntarily joined the present study. The survey was made by 4 sections, and designed to know and outline modalities (frequency, patterns and aims) of smartphone use, adverse outcomes, and related parental behaviors, also in order to reveal the eventual occurrence and degree of addiction. The same information, related to the pre-epidemic period, was also investigated and analyzed. RESULTS: The data obtained revealed a significantly greater adhesion to the questionnaire by females, likely reflecting higher attention and interest than boys to initiatives relating to health education. Our study showed more frequent smartphone use among Italian children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the pre-epidemic period. This may be related to the social distancing measures adopted during the months under investigation. The present survey also outlined the changing patterns and aims in the use of smartphones among young people, which allowed to limit some effects of the crisis. Indeed, they were used for human connection, learning and entertainment, providing psychological and social support. Finally, it was observed a significant increase of overuse and addiction. This led to many clinical (sleep, ocular and musculoskeletal disorders), psychological (distraction, mood modification, loss of interest) and social (superficial approach to learning, isolation) unfavorable outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatricians and health care professionals should be aware of the potential risks related to inappropriate use of smartphones. They should monitor, in cooperation with parents, possible associated adverse effects, in order to early recognize signs and symptoms suggestive, or at high risk, for addiction. They must carry out, as well, the necessary interventions to prevent and/or lower the detrimental impact of smartphone overuse on children and adolescents' health, oriented to sustain adequate physical and psychological development as well as social relationships.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Smartphone/statistics & numerical data , Social Isolation/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report
11.
Behav Brain Res ; 411: 113406, 2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252488

ABSTRACT

Forward genetic mapping of F2 crosses between closely related substrains of inbred rodents - referred to as a reduced complexity cross (RCC) - is a relatively new strategy for accelerating the pace of gene discovery for complex traits, such as drug addiction. RCCs to date were generated in mice, but rats are thought to be optimal for addiction genetic studies. Based on past literature, one inbred Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat substrain, SHR/NCrl, is predicted to exhibit a distinct behavioral profile as it relates to cocaine self-administration traits relative to another substrain, SHR/NHsd. Direct substrain comparisons are a necessary first step before implementing an RCC. We evaluated model traits for cocaine addiction risk and cocaine self-administration behaviors using a longitudinal within-subjects design. Impulsive-like and compulsive-like traits were greater in SHR/NCrl than SHR/NHsd, as were reactivity to sucrose reward, sensitivity to acute psychostimulant effects of cocaine, and cocaine use studied under fixed-ratio and tandem schedules of cocaine self-administration. Compulsive-like behavior correlated with the acute psychostimulant effects of cocaine, which in turn correlated with cocaine taking under the tandem schedule. Compulsive-like behavior also was the best predictor of cocaine seeking responses. Heritability estimates indicated that 22 %-40 % of the variances for the above phenotypes can be explained by additive genetic factors, providing sufficient genetic variance to conduct genetic mapping in F2 crosses of SHR/NCrl and SHR/NHsd. These results provide compelling support for using an RCC approach in SHR substrains to uncover candidate genes and variants that are of relevance to cocaine use disorders.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/physiopathology , Cocaine-Related Disorders/physiopathology , Rats, Inbred SHR/psychology , Animals , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Central Nervous System Stimulants/pharmacology , Cocaine/pharmacology , Cocaine-Related Disorders/psychology , Disease Models, Animal , Male , Phenotype , Rats , Risk Factors , Self Administration , Species Specificity
12.
Cogn Behav Ther ; 50(3): 179-184, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238117

ABSTRACT

The novel 2019 SARS-2-CoV causing COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the entire world. COVID-19 is a broad-based stressor, and research to date has documented increases in mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and substance use, since the onset of COVID-19. By taking a transdiagnostic approach, scholars can help elucidate mechanisms and vulnerability as well as resiliency related to behavioral health problems in the context of COVID-19. The aim of the current special issue of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy was to showcase ongoing research focused on transdiagnostic factors in the context of COVID-19. The purpose of this issue is to highlight the significance of this work in the pandemic for research and practice; illustrate some of the many domains currently being explored via innovative approaches; and explicate fruitful areas for programmatic study. We hope that readers will recognize the important role of transdiagnostic models and their potential to offset the mental, addictive, and physical health disease burden of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Anxiety Disorders/diagnosis , Anxiety/diagnosis , Behavior, Addictive/diagnosis , COVID-19/psychology , Depression/diagnosis , Depressive Disorder/diagnosis , Substance-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Depression/psychology , Depressive Disorder/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
13.
MEDICC Rev ; 23(2): 55, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224443

ABSTRACT

Cuba implemented policies mandating social distancing on March 11, 2020, which were still in place at the time of this study. During such periods of isolation, people with psychoactive substance-related disorders and other addictions may be tempted to reduce tension, stress, uncertainty and possible distress by increasing the use of substances or practices they have abused. This can mean relapses and setbacks for patients undergoing treatment. A multidisciplinary team of health professionals specializing in addiction at the Center for Academic Development in Drug Addiction, in Havana, Cuba, cares for people with these disorders and followed their evolution during the initial period of COVID-19 social isolation. With the aim of characterizing strategies employed by patients undergoing treatment for substance abuse and addictions, we conducted a qualitative study from April 2020 through May 2020, using a convenience sample of 37 patients (all students) who had been progressing towards recovery from addictive behaviors when face-to-face encounters were suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions. Contact was maintained through information and communication technologies. The research used telepsychology and focused on understanding patient life experiences. Patients were interviewed using a semi-structured survey, which was then transcribed and coded thematically using a grounded-theory approach. We found that patients' ability to cope successfully with challenges presented by COVID-19 were influenced by: 1) the individual's own methods for maintaining self-control (commitment to studies, projects, and work with therapists) that aided them in their goals concerning abstinence; 2) difficulties faced in addressing specific events and situations (doubts, uncertainties, disagreements, isolation and time use); 3) perpetuation and revivification of myths related to substances and addictive activities (exacerbation of supposed benefits of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, overuse of social networks); and 4) tendencies toward irrationality and lack of emotional control (fear, sadness, anger, constant worry and self-imposed demands). Our findings suggest that despite the potential negative psychological impact of preventive social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, individual coping mechanisms developed by these patients, aiming at improved self-control, allowed most to avoid setbacks that could have affected their recovery. Nevertheless, patients faced challenges to their recovery that were compounded by difficulties in specific situations, myths related to substances and addictive activities, and tendencies toward irrationality or lack of emotional control.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/rehabilitation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cuba/epidemiology , Female , Grounded Theory , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/rehabilitation
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(5): e25547, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217019

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to deliver mental health and addictions (MHA) services is a global priority, especially considering the urgent shift towards virtual delivery of care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to monitor the evolving role of technology in MHA services. Given that MHA policy documents represent the highest level of priorities for a government's vision and strategy for mental health care, one starting point is to measure the frequency with which technology is mentioned and the terms used to describe its use in MHA policy documents (before, during, and after COVID-19). Yet, to our knowledge, no such review of the extent to which ICTs are referred to in Canadian MHA policy documents exists to date. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this systematic policy review was to examine the extent to which technology is addressed in Canadian government-based MHA policy documents prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to establish a baseline for documenting change. METHODS: We reviewed 22 government-based MHA policy documents, published between 2011 and 2019 by 13 Canadian provinces and territories. We conducted content analysis to synthesize the policy priorities addressed in these documents into key themes, and then systematically searched for and tabulated the use of 39 technology-related keywords (in English and French) to describe and compare jurisdictions. RESULTS: Technology was addressed in every document, however, to a varying degree. Of the 39 searched keywords, we identified 22 categories of keywords pertaining to the use of technology to deliver MHA services and information. The 6 most common categories were tele (n=16/22), phone (n=12/22), tech (n=11/22), online (n=10/22), line (n=10/22), and web (n=10/22), with n being the number of policy documents in which the category was mentioned out of 22 documents. The use of terms referring to advanced technologies, such as virtual (n=6/22) and app (n= 4/22), were less frequent. Additionally, policy documents from some provinces and territories (eg, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador) mentioned a diverse range of ICTs, whereas others described only 1 form of ICT. CONCLUSIONS: This review indicates that technology has been given limited strategic attention in Canadian MHA policy. Policy makers may have limited knowledge on the evidence and potential of using technology in this field, highlighting the value for knowledge translation and collaborative initiatives among policy makers and researchers. The development of a pan-Canadian framework for action addressing the integration and coordination of technology in mental health services can also guide initiatives in this field. Our findings provide a prepandemic baseline and replicable methods to monitor how the use of technology-supported services and innovations emerge relative to other priorities in MHA policy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Health/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/psychology , Canada , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
15.
J Neural Transm (Vienna) ; 128(7): 1033-1043, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196582

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown have been associated with multiple consequences for mental health, including an excessive and potentially harmful increase in screen media use. The specific consequences for children, adolescents and young adults with ADHD are still unknown. In the first part of this study, a short review of problematic use of the internet (PUI) in ADHD is presented, showing that patients with ADHD are at risk for different aspects of PUI, such as excessive gaming or problematic social media use. In the second part, we report original data of an online survey on screen media use before, during and after the lockdown completed by parents of children and adolescents clinically referred for ADHD. Parents rated children's/adolescents' media-related behavior and media time on a new screening questionnaire for PUI. Each item was rated three times, referring to the observed behavior before, during and 1-2 months after the lockdown. N = 126 parents of patients referred for ADHD aged 10-18 years participated in the study. Total media time increased by 46% during the lockdown and did not completely return to pre-Corona levels afterwards. Patients with difficulties concentrating, high irritability or deterioration of ADHD problems under lockdown spent more time with screen media than those with milder or no such problems. While the effects of the lockdown on screen media use and its negative impact on everyday life appear to be largely reversible, a small proportion of patients with ADHD apparently continue to show increased media use.


Subject(s)
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19 , Internet , Pandemics , Quarantine , Adolescent , Attention , Bullying , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Psychology, Adolescent , Psychology, Child , Social Media , Surveys and Questionnaires , Video Games , Young Adult
16.
J Addict Dis ; 39(4): 489-503, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157955

ABSTRACT

The present study explored the topics and sentiment associated with gambling addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic, using topic modeling and sentiment analysis on tweets in English posted between 17-24th April 2020. The study was exploratory in nature, with its main objective consisting of inductively identifying topics embedded in user-generated content. We found that a five-topic model was the best in representing the data corpus, including: (i) the public's perception of gambling addiction amid the COVID-19 outbreak, (ii) risks and support available for those who stay at home, (iii) the users' interpretation of gambling addiction, (iv) forms of gambling during the pandemic, and (v) gambling advertising and impact on families. Sentiment analysis showed a prevalence of underlying fear, trust, sadness, and anger, across the corpus. Users viewed the pandemic as a driver of problematic gambling behaviors, possibly exposing unprepared individuals and communities to forms of online gambling, with potential long-term consequences and a significant impact on health systems. Despite the limitations of the study, we hypothesize that enhancing the presence of mental health operators and practitioners treating problem gambling on social media might positively impact public mental health and help prevent health services from being overwhelmed, in times when healthcare resources are limited.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Gambling/psychology , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Social Perception , Attitude to Health , Humans , United States
17.
Am J Addict ; 30(4): 389-397, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142859

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: COVID-19-related quarantine and stress have likely escalated the crisis of Internet addiction. This study aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internet use and related risk factors among the general public in China. METHODS: A large-sample cross-sectional online survey was conducted from March 24 to April 30, 2020, in China, and 20,472 participants completed the survey. We investigated the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction based on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and explored the risk factors related to increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction, as well as severe Internet addiction. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of Internet addiction was 36.7% among the general population during the pandemic, and that of severe Internet addiction was 2.8%, according to IAT scores. Time spent on recreational Internet use had significantly increased during the pandemic, and almost half of participants reported increases in the severity of Internet addiction. Risk factors for increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction and severe Internet addiction included having fewer social supporters, perceiving pressure and impact on mental health status due to COVID-19, and being over-engaged in playing videogames. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted Internet use and increased the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction among the general population in China, especially in vulnerable populations. SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: This study provides evidence for policymakers to refine public health policies to control the pandemic and make efforts to provide population-specific prevention and interventions for people at risk of developing Internet addiction. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00-00).


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Internet Addiction Disorder/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Internet , Internet Addiction Disorder/psychology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
18.
Encephale ; 46(3S): S43-S52, 2020 Jun.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065048

ABSTRACT

The psychological effects of isolation have already been described in the literature (polar expeditions, submarines, prison). Nevertheless, the scale of confinement implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. In addition to reviewing the published studies, we need to anticipate the psychological problems that could arise during or at a distance from confinement. We have gone beyond the COVID-19 literature in order to examine the implications of the known consequences of confinement, like boredom, social isolation, stress, or sleep deprivation. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicidal or addictive behaviours, domestic violence are described effects of confinement, but the mechanisms of emergence of these disorders and their interrelationships remain to be studied. For example, what are the mechanisms of emergence of post-traumatic stress disorders in the context of confinement? We also remind the reader of points of vigilance to be kept in mind with regard to eating disorders and hallucinations. Hallucinations are curiously ignored in the literature on confinement, whereas a vast literature links social isolation and hallucinations. Due to the broad psychopathological consequences, we have to look for these various symptoms to manage them. We quickly summarize the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches already in place, such as telemedicine, which is undergoing rapid development during the COVID-19 crisis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Patient Isolation/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral , Social Isolation/psychology , Adult , Anxiety Disorders/etiology , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Behavior, Addictive/etiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Boredom , COVID-19 , Child , Child Abuse , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Delivery of Health Care , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Domestic Violence/psychology , Feeding and Eating Disorders/etiology , Feeding and Eating Disorders/psychology , France , Hallucinations/etiology , Hallucinations/psychology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Suicide/psychology , Telemedicine
19.
Subst Abus ; 42(1): 1-4, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1020051

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing opioid epidemic, rise in substance use, and social and political unrest in the US and globally has impacted how substance use-related health needs are addressed. These issues were driving forces in planning AMERSA's 44th annual conference. True to the multidisciplinary spirit, and with diversity goals and advocacy at the forefront of mind, "together we rise" became the beacon for the AMERSA 2020 conference. This commentary provides an overview of the conference proceedings, topics that were highly relevant for clinicians, educators, researchers, and advocates for change.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Racism/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Addict Dis ; 39(2): 257-264, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972854

ABSTRACT

Stressors caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) contribute to increased addictive behaviors in the general population worldwide. Little is known, however, about addictive behaviors of people who have recovered a long time ago, even years, from substance use disorder (SUD). The goal of the present research was to examine the craving for drug use and addictive behaviors (tobacco and alcohol consumption, viewing of pornography, gambling, and shopping online) of people who recovered from SUD, before and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods: During one week of isolation imposed in Israel following the outbreak of COVID-19 in April, 2020, a self-report questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of 113 people who had recovered from SUD, aged 22-69, 78% men.Results Fifty-one percent of participants reported craving drugs during the isolation period and engaging in addictive behaviors. Significant differences were found in tobacco and alcohol consumption, gambling, and viewing of pornography online, before and after the outbreak of the pandemic, especially in participants who reported having engaged in these addictive behaviors to some extent before the outbreak. A hierarchical linear regression showed a significant explained variance (R2=44%, p<.001), with stronger feelings of loneliness and shorter length of time free from drug use being associated with stronger craving for drugs.Conclusions: The drug addiction treatment establishment should pay close attention and strengthen communication with people who recovered from SUD. It is necessary to develop real-time anti-craving and anti-replacement addiction interventions to prevent relapses.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/rehabilitation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Craving , Mental Health Recovery , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/rehabilitation , Adult , Aged , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Israel , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Social Isolation , Stress, Psychological/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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