Psychological treatments for excessive gaming: a systematic review and meta‑analysis

Kim, J., Lee, S., Lee, D., Shim, S., Balva, D., Choi, K.-H., Chey, J., Shin, S.-H., & Ahn, W.-Y. 2022. Scientific Reports


Despite widespread public interest in problematic gaming interventions, questions regarding the empirical status of treatment efcacy persist. We conducted pairwise and network meta-analyses based on 17 psychological intervention studies on excessive gaming (n= 745 participants). The pairwise meta-analysis showed that psychological interventions reduce excessive gaming more than the inactive control (standardized mean diference [SMD]= 1.70, 95% confdence interval [CI] 1.27 to 2.12) and active control (SMD= 0.88, 95% CI 0.21 to 1.56). The network meta-analysis showed that a combined treatment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness was the most efective intervention in reducing excessive gaming, followed by a combined CBT and Family intervention, Mindfulness, and then CBT as a standalone treatment. Due to the limited number of included studies and resulting identifed methodological concerns, the current results should be interpreted as preliminary to help support future research focused on excessive gaming interventions. Recommendations for improving the methodological rigor are also discussed.