Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of an e-health stepped care approach for the treatment of internet use disorders versus a placebo condition: the SCAPIT study

Anja Bischof, Dominique Brandt, Samantha Schlossarek, Maren Vens, Dmitri Rozgonjuk, Jennifer Wernicke, Christopher Kannen, Klaus Wölfling, Michael Dreier, Harriet Salbach, Lara Basenach, Thomas Mößle, Denise Olbrich, Inke König, Stefan Borgwardt, Christian Montag, Hans-Jürgen Rumpf

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Excessive internet use can lead to problems for some individuals. The WHO has introduced Gaming Disorder in the International Classification of Diseases-11 (ICD-11). Previous research has shown that other internet applications can cause serious mental health problems as well. It is important to provide measures of prevention, early intervention and therapy for internet use disorders (IUDs).

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study 'Stepped Care Approach for Problematic Internet use Treatment' is a randomised, two-arm, parallel-group, observer-blind trial. The aim of the study is to investigate if a stepped care approach is effective to reduce symptom severity for IUD. The sample is primarily recruited online with a focus on employees in companies with support of health insurances. After screening, the stepped care approach depends on the success of the previous step-that is, the successful reduction of criteria-and comprise: (1) app-intervention with questionnaires and feedback, (2) two telephone counsellings (duration: 50 min) based on motivational interviewing, (3) online therapy over 17 weeks (15 weekly group sessions, eight individual sessions) based on cognitive-behavioural therapy. A follow-up is conducted after 6 months. A total of 860 participants will be randomised. Hierarchical testing procedure is used to test the coprimary endpoints number of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition and ICD-11 criteria. Primary analysis will be performed with a sequential logit model.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by the Ethics Committees of the Universities of Lübeck (file number: 21-068), Mainz (file number: 2021-15907) and Berlin (file number: 015.2021). Results will be reported in accordance to the CONSORT statement. If the approach is superior to the control condition, it may serve as part of treatment for IUD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: DRKS00025994.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftBMJ Open
Jahrgang12
Ausgabenummer11
Seiten (von - bis)e061453
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 02.11.2022

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