Research Topic

The Impact of Online Addiction on General Health, Well-Being and Associated Societal Costs

About this Research Topic

Addictive online behaviors have come under increasing research scrutiny in the past two decades, culminating in the recent inclusion of gaming disorder as a distinct entity in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Although those behaviors may become addictive and ...

Addictive online behaviors have come under increasing research scrutiny in the past two decades, culminating in the recent inclusion of gaming disorder as a distinct entity in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Although those behaviors may become addictive and negatively affect quality of life in a minority of users, the widespread adoption of online resources for communication and recreation causes great concern for the wider public health, leading to the characterization of online addiction as the impending epidemic of the 21st century. If that proves to be true, online addiction may bear significant consequences to society, including but not exhaustively, impact on quality of life, productivity and collateral costs to the health system.

While the link of online addictive behaviors and mental disorders has been well-documented, the wider impact to the general health and well-being of the affected individuals is generally understudied. The goal of this Research Topic is to present the effects of online addictive behaviors, including but not limited to, online gaming and social media, to the burden on the individual’s general health and well-being. Of special interest is how this burden carries over to the macro level in the workplace, the educational system and also the health system, with general productivity loss, missed opportunities at work and education, and increased use of the health services. Reporting this burden will help the exploration of cost-effectiveness of treatment modalities and highlight the need for investment in health services tailored to population needs.

This Research Topic welcomes contributions that present data on the impact of online addictive behaviors (including online gaming addiction, online gambling, social media addiction, online pornography addiction and other online behavioral addictions e.g. excess streaming of media) on the somatic health and well-being of the individual and the wider societal cost. More specifically, we are interested in both original quantitative or qualitative research studies and scoping reviews of:
• Impact on somatic health and general well-being (assessed with objective measures of reduced capability or biomarkers, or other similar measures);
• Impact on the health system (increased use of health services as measured by the total cost of care to the patients with online addictions and to those where the addictive behavior is a co-morbid condition);
• Impact on the workplace and study (reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, loss of work or of important educational opportunities, delayed completion of obligations).


Keywords: internet addiction, gaming addiction, wellbeing, health system, burden of disease


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

26 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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