Swiss Psychiatrists’ Beliefs and Attitudes About Internet Addiction
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- Thorens, G., Khazaal, Y., Billieux, J. et al. Psychiatr Q (2009) 80: 117. doi:10.1007/s11126-009-9098-2
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Aims To investigate the beliefs and attitudes of Swiss general psychiatrists toward Internet addiction. Methods Ninety-fourth Swiss psychiatrists filled out a questionnaire at a conference of general psychiatry assessing their views on the concept of Internet addiction, their evaluation methods and treatment procedures they use. Results A cluster analysis revealed three groups: DISBELIEVERS (N = 20) rejected the concept of Internet addiction and its importance, not considering it a real clinical problem and consequently not considering the existence of a specific treatment. The NOSOLOGY BELIEVERS (N = 66) and NOSOLOGY/TREATMENT BELIEVERS (N = 8) assumed that Internet addiction is a real problem. While NOSOLOGY/TREATMENT BELIEVERS asserted the availability of effective treatment (mainly psychological), NOSOLOGY BELIEVERS were less affirmative regarding treatment. Conclusion Thought the concept of Internet addiction is largely acknowledged as a clinical reality by Swiss psychiatrists, routine screening and treatment remain uncommon, mainly due to the belief that efficient treatment is still lacking.