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Schielein, Maximilian Christian; Tizek, Linda; Schuster, Barbara; Ziehfreund, Stefanie; Liebram, Claudia; Eyerich, Kilian and Zink, Alexander (2020): Always Online? Internet Addiction and Social Impairment in Psoriasis across Germany. In: Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 6, 1818

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Abstract

With the World Health Organization (WHO) demanding further investigation of the social impairment and psychosocial burden of psoriasis, a first study identified a high prevalence of Internet addiction. The aim of this study was to assess social impairment and estimate the occurrence of Internet addiction along with depression, cigarette smoking, and alcohol dependency in individuals with psoriasis recruited online in a people-centered care approach. A cross-sectional online survey was carried out across Germany between March 2019 and June 2019. The questionnaire contained information on social impairment, smoking habits, as well as validated questionnaires on Internet addiction, depression, and alcohol dependency. Overall, 460 individuals (62.4% female;mean age: 45.9 +/- 13.7 years) with psoriasis were included. Of those, 406 (88.3%) stated to be at least rarely socially impaired. The positive screening rate for Internet addiction was 8.5%. Furthermore, 40.0% had positive screenings for depression, 17.1% for alcohol dependency, and 32.6% for daily smoking. Positive screenings for Internet addiction and alcohol dependency were substantially more frequent in individuals with psoriasis than in the German general population. In order to meet the demands of the WHO, Internet addiction could be considered as a potential comorbidity in psoriasis and a focus on people-centered care is advisable for further research.

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