Problematic use of the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic: Good practices and mental health recommendations

Biljana Gjoneska, Marc N. Potenza, Julia Jones, Ornella Corazza, Natalie Hall, Célia M.D. Sales, Edna Grünblatt, Giovanni Martinotti, Julius Burkauskas, Anna Maria Werling, Susanne Walitza, Joseph Zohar, José M. Menchón, Orsolya Király, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Naomi A. Fineberg, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus came jurisdictional limitations on mobility of citizens and distinct alterations in their daily routines. Confined to their homes, many people increased their overall internet use, with problematic use of the internet (PUI) becoming a potential reason for increased mental health concerns. Our narrative review summarizes information on the extent of PUI during the pandemic, by focusing on three types: online gaming, gambling and pornography viewing. We conclude by providing guidance for mental health professionals and those affected by PUI (with an outline of immediate research priorities and best therapeutic approaches), as well as for the general public (with an overview of safe and preventative practices).

Original languageEnglish
Article number152279
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Addictive behaviors
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Online gambling
  • Online gaming
  • Online pornography
  • Problematic internet use


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