Treatment effects of therapeutic interventions for gaming disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Treatment effects of therapeutic interventions for gaming disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Danielsen, P. A. Mentzoni, R. A. Låg, T.
Addictive Behaviors
The prevalence of gaming disorder is assumed to be between 2%-5%. The treatment effect of different therapeutic interventions of gaming disorder has not been studied extensively. This systematic review and metaanalysis sought to identify all intervention studies on gaming disorder with a control group, determine the effect of the interventions, and examine moderators. Studies applying a therapeutic intervention and using an appropriate comparison group were identified by searching electronic databases, previous reviews, and reference lists. Data on type of treatment, name of outcome measurement, symptom level and other study characteristics were extracted and analyzed using meta-analysis and meta-regression. A total of 38 studies and 76 effect sizes, originating from 9524 participants were included. RoB2 and ROBINS-I risk of bias tools were used to assess within-study risk of bias. Correlational hierarchical models with robust variance estimation were fitted to effect size data and yielded a moderate summary estimate. Egger's sandwich test, funnel plot inspections, and other tests were conducted to assess risk of bias between studies. Results indicate that there may be an overall effect of therapeutic interventions for gaming disorder, but confidence in these findings is compromised by small-study effects, possible publication bias, a limited study pool, and a lack of standardization. The field needs more higher quality studies before the evidence-base can support reliable meta-analytic estimates.

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Type of intervention

Preventive- and Promotive Health Interventions

Early Intervention

Treatment and Child Welfare Interventions


Drugs and Gambling

Gaming and Internet Use



Psychological Treatments

Family Therapy

Parent Guidance / Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Therapy

Public Health Interventions

Physical Activity

Age group

School Aged Children (6-12 years)

Adolescents (13-18 years)

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