Exploring the damaging effects of the internet

New clinical approaches for the effective diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders

The University of Hertfordshire is leading the world's first international research into how the internet affects mental health and wellbeing. Since 2014, the World Health Organisation has recognised Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI), but research on PUI has, up to now, been fragmented and localised, making it difficult for researchers to gauge the full picture.

Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Naomi Fineberg, from the University of Hertfordshire chairs a network of researchers from 38 countries, aiming to identify and understand problems associated with internet use, such as gambling, pornography, gaming, and excessive social media use. The network also seeks to pinpoint the cause of these problems and unlock how society can best manage them.

The group produced a book aimed at the public, Learning to deal with Problematic Usage of the Internet and has provided research evidence and support, successfully lobbying for development of new clinical services to treat recently classified Gaming Disorder.

Researchers
Prof Naomi Fineberg
Prof Keith Laws
Dr David Wellsted
Dr Karen Irvine
Dr Tim Gale