Adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD): profiles and treatment response (2016)

Adicciones. 2016 Sep 29:890. doi: 10.20882/adicciones.890.

 [Article in English, Spanish]

Martín-Fernández M1, Matalí JL, García-Sánchez S, Pardo M, Lleras M, Castellano-Tejedor C.


Demand for treatment for problems related to the use of video games have increased significantly in adolescents. Most cases have a comorbid mental disorder that jeopardises both pathologies. The aim of this study is to describe profiles of adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) according to comorbidity and analyze treatment response at 3 and 6 months. A sample of 86 patients which consulted in the Addictive Behavior Unit of a hospital was assessed with diagnostic criteria for IGD, the interview K-SADS-PL for mental disorders and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) to treatment progress. Of the initial sample, 68,6% (n = 59) met diagnostic criteria for IGD. Of these, the 45,76% matched an internalizing profile, presenting comorbidity with Mood Disorders (44,4%), Anxiety Disorders (44,4%) and Personality Disorders (11,1%). The externalizing profile would comprise 52,54% of the sample presenting Disruptive Behavior Disorder (48,4%=, ADHD (29%) and Disruptive Behavior Disorders not otherwise specified (22,6%). Unlike externalizing, the internalizing patients had a family history of psychiatric problems (63%), difficulties in social relationships (77,8%) and seemed to use video games preferably to escape discomfort (66,7%). After 3 months the externalizing profile showed improvements. Comorbid disorders allow the discrimination of two IGD profiles in adolescents and these could influence treatment response. Therefore, it is important to assess comorbidities to design a more accurate intervention focused on the specificities of each profile.