University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

  • Biljana Gjoneska
  • Marc N. Potenza
  • Julia Jones
  • Ornella Corazza
  • Natalie Hall
  • Célia M.D. Sales
  • Edna Grünblatt
  • Giovanni Martinotti
  • Julius Burkauskas
  • Anna Maria Werling
  • Susanne Walitza
  • Joseph Zohar
  • José M. Menchón
  • Orsolya Király
  • Samuel R. Chamberlain
  • Naomi A. Fineberg
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
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Original languageEnglish
Article number152279
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus came jurisdictional limitations on mobility of citizens and distinct alterations in their daily routines. Confined to their homes, many people increased their overall internet use, with problematic use of the internet (PUI) becoming a potential reason for increased mental health concerns. Our narrative review summarizes information on the extent of PUI during the pandemic, by focusing on three types: online gaming, gambling and pornography viewing. We conclude by providing guidance for mental health professionals and those affected by PUI (with an outline of immediate research priorities and best therapeutic approaches), as well as for the general public (with an overview of safe and preventative practices).


Funding Information: MNP , NAF and ZD have been members of a WHO advisory group on the public health consequences of addictive behaviors. MNP has: consulted for and advised Game Day Data, the Addiction Policy Forum, AXA, Idorsia, and Opiant Therapeutics; received research support from the Veteran's Administration, Mohegan Sun Casino, and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (no the International Center for Responsible Gambling); participated in surveys, mailings, or telephone consultations related to addictions, impulse-control disorders or other health topics; consulted for law offices and the federal public defender's office in issues related to impulse-control and addictive disorders; provided clinical care in the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Problem Gambling Services Program; performed grant reviews for the National Institutes of Health and other agencies; edited journals and journal sections; given academic lectures in grand rounds, CME events and other clinical/scientific venues; and has generated books or chapters for publishers of mental health texts. ZD : The University of Gibraltar receives funding from the Gibraltar Gambling Care Foundation. ELTE Eötvös Loránd University receives funding from the Szerencsejáték Ltd to maintain a telephone helpline service for problematic gambling. ZD has also been involved in research on responsible gambling funded by the Szerencsejáték Ltd's and the Gambling Supervision Board, and has provided educational materials for the Szerencsejáték Ltd's responsible gambling program. NAF has been a member of the WHO advisory group on obsessive compulsive disorders. In the past 3 years NAF has held research or networking grants from the ECNP, UK NIHR, EU H2020, MRC, University of Hertfordshire; has accepted travel and/or hospitality expenses from the BAP, ECNP, RCPsych, CINP, International Forum of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, World Psychiatric Association, Indian Association for Biological Psychiatry, Sun; has received payment from Taylor and Francis and Elsevier for editorial duties; has accepted a paid speaking engagement in a webinar sponsored by Abbott. Previously, she has accepted paid speaking engagements in various pharmaceutical industry supported symposia and has accepted grants and funding support for various pharmaceutical industry-sponsored studies in the field of OCD treatment. She leads an NHS treatment service for OCD. She holds Board membership for various registered charities linked to OCD. She gives expert advice on psychopharmacology to the UK MHRA and NICE. SRC receives an honorarium from Elsevier for editorial work at journals; and previously consulted for Promentis. SRC's research is funded by the Wellcome Trust. Other authors report no disclosures. The above reported institutions had no role in the preparation of the current submission. JB : In the past several years JB has been working as a consultant at Cogstate, Ltd. Funding Information: This article is based upon work from COST Action CA16207 “European Network for Problematic Usage of the Internet”, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), . MNP 's involvement was supported by the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. OK was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and by the ÚNKP-21-5 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology from the source of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund. ZD 's contribution was supported by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office ( KKP126835 ). The funding agencies had no role in the decision to publish, or in the content or preparation of the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors

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