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Open AccessArticle

Always Online? Internet Addiction and Social Impairment in Psoriasis across Germany

Department of Dermatology and Allergy, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, 80802 Munich, Germany
Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE), Department of Medical Informatics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, 81377 Munich, Germany
Pettenkofer School of Public Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, 81377 Munich, Germany
Psoriasis-Netz e.V., 13437 Berlin, Germany
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Unit of Dermatology and Venerology, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(6), 1818;
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 7 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Dermatology)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: psoriasis; Internet addiction; people-centered care; social impairment; stigmatization psoriasis; Internet addiction; people-centered care; social impairment; stigmatization
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Schielein, M.C.; Tizek, L.; Schuster, B.; Ziehfreund, S.; Liebram, C.; Eyerich, K.; Zink, A. Always Online? Internet Addiction and Social Impairment in Psoriasis across Germany. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1818.

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