Effectiveness of Available Treatments for Gaming Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2022 Jan;25(1):5-13. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2021.0067. Epub 2021 Oct 18.


In 2020, the prevalence of gaming disorder (GD) was comparable with the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder, thus demonstrating the necessity of addressing Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and GD in general. GD has been introduced as a psychiatric disorder by International Classification of Diseases and paving the way for treatment and prevention interventions. In this review, we researched available treatment interventions in children and adolescents. Τhe initial search resulted in 972 studies and we ended up with 16 by excluding inappropriate studies according to six inclusion criteria. The studies confirmed that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or CBT-based interventions are the most used, and in cases of comorbidity, such as depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the appropriate pharmaceutical intervention also was an effective option. Other interventions combined CBT with family therapy or CBT-based therapies that took place in specialized camps. Family as a supportive expedient or even treatment expedient seemed to play a major role. It is remarkable that only little knowledge exists regarding treatment interventions for children aged 8-12 years old. Therefore, more studies need to be carried out for this age range especially, with comparable efficacy to this of other interventions.

Keywords: adolescents; gaming disorder; systematic review; treatment.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / therapy
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Internet Addiction Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder*
  • Video Games*