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Growing global concern about the public health and societal costs of problematic use of the internet (PUI), which has an estimated prevalence of 6% among the general population and which is increasingly recognised to affect children and young people, represents an emerging challenge for mental health research. Some disordered online behaviours, such as excessive gaming, buying, gambling, email checking, social media use and viewing pornography, cause such significant impairment of everyday functioning of some individuals that mental health professional help is sought. National health authorities are now expressing concern.  However, there is lack of agreement on the definition of PUI as a ‘mental disorder’ and a critical scarcity of reliable information on its prevalence, clinical parameters, brain-based biology and socio-health-economic impact. Moreover, significant geographical differences in the magnitude of the problem (e.g. East Asia versus Europe) need to be better understood, to inform health policy and service development.

To this end, the EU under its Horizon 2020 umbrella has just launched a new four-year European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action Program (CA 16207), led by members of the WPA Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Section, to advance networked interdisciplinary research into problematic internet usage across Europe and beyond. The first steps will be to reach consensus on the reliable definition of the problem, devise age-appropriate assessment instruments to measure its severity, plan studies to clarify its clinical course and impact on health and quality of life as well as to clarify the underpinning brain-based mechanisms to support the development of screening biomarkers to identify those who are vulnerable before the problematic use becomes too entrenched and ultimately to identify targets to guide the development of new and effective interventions.

National Task Force of Portugal. Dissemination plan with various activities:

Adaptation and implementation of an international prevention methodology to address PUI in college students – Me & The Others.

Training of University Psychological Services/Gabinete de Apoio ao Estudante‘s professionals on the clinical management of online Gambling and Gaming Disorders;
European Master ERASMUS +, CPD courses/ joint courses.

Training for teachers on PUI. Competency development program for teachers of different levels of teaching on PUI.
Dissemination of CA COST Action CA16207 work on PUI at the Lisbon Addictions 2019 – Third European conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies.
Neuropsychobiological Approach to Problematic Gambling: A study of the near-miss effect.
Gaming and Stress. To study the vulnerability to stress in professional and non-professional gamers.

Gaming and network analysis. The application of network analysis methods to the study of the nosographic structure of Internet Gaming Disorder.
Research on gaming and Autism Spectrum Disorder. To investigate the cognitive and behavioural mechanisms in Autism Spectrum Disorder patients regarding videogames use.

Research on Usage of Digital Devices. Study the usage of digital devices by children, adolescents and young adults. We have previous research experience with the use of mobile devices by children under 8 years old

MC Meeting Minutes

PUI Cost Action 5th Mc Meeting – Minutes from 5th MC Meeting held in Copenhagen, Denmark: 12.09.2019

PUI Cost Action 4th Mc Meeting – Minutes from 4th MC Meeting held in Warsaw, Poland: 10.04.2019

PUI Cost Action 3rd Mc Meeting – Minutes from 3rd MC Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain: 11.10.2018

PUI Cost Action 2nd Mc Meeting – Minutes from 2nd MC Meeting held in Cologne, Germany: 22.4.2018

PUI Cost Action WP1 – Minutes from Teleconference and Actions: 5.1.2018
Present: Sam Chamberlain (SC, WP1 lead), Naomi Fineberg (NF, Chair), Joseph Zohar (JZ, Vice Chair), Lior Carmi (LC, WP1 Co-lead).

Work Group Meeting Minutes

Work Group 3 and 5 – October 2019 – Planned Agenda for WP3 and WG5 Meeting on 22th October 2019 in Lisbon

Work Group 1 and 5 – 12.09.2019 – Meeting of WG1 and WG5 Co-Leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 2 and 5 – 20.08.2019 – Meeting of WG2 and WG5 Co-Leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 2 – 09.10.2018 – Meeting of WG2 Co-Leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 1 – 02.10.2018 – Planned Agenda for WP1 Meeting on 11th October 2018 in Barcelona

Work Group 4 – 06.06.2018 – Meeting of WG4 Co-Leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 3 – 05.06.2018 – Meeting of WG3 Co-Leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 3 – 14.02.2018 – Meeting of WG3 Co-leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 4 – 13.02.2018 – Meeting of WG4 Co-leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 2 – 10.01.2018 – Training and Mentorship 2nd WG meeting
WG Lead: Ornella Corazza

WG co-lead:  Konstantinos Ionnadis

STSM coordinator- Giovanni Martinotti

Also attending:

MC Chair: Naomi Fineberg

GHM/AR: Natalie Hall

Work Group 1 – 05.01.2018 – Meeting of WG1 Co-leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 4 – 14.12.2017 – Meeting of WG4 Co-leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 1 – 05.12.2017 – Subprojects of WG1 Co-leads and Grant Chair

Work Group 2 – 01.12.2017 – Training and Mentorship 1st WG meeting
WG Lead: Ornella Corazza

STSM coordinator- Giovanni Martinotti

Also attending:

MC Chair: Naomi Fineberg

GHM/AR: Natalie Hall

Work Group 1 – 10.11.2017 – Meeting of WG1 Co-leads and Grant Chair
Present: Sam Chamberlain (drafting these minutes), Naomi Fineberg, Anne Goudriaan

Essential downloads

Action Statistics – September 2019

Dissemination Plan

Report Ledger

EU network of problematic usage of the internet logo

Newsletter

Key mile stones of the project

22th Nov 2018

National Task Force of Portugal. Dissemination plan with various activities

11th Oct 2018

Third MC Meeting, Barcelona

10th Oct 2018

Hooked on Wi-FI - Free event

5th Oct 2018

Press Conference - Science Communications Centre

30th Aug 2018

Call for STSM Grants is now closed

28th Aug 2018

National Task Force established in Montenegro to about the action

1st Jul 2018

Call for ITC and STSM Grants is now open

29th Mar 2018

First Action Webinar ``New Insights on Addiction Trends in Society``

14th Feb 2018

Launch of External Advisory board

Launch of External Advisory board for the approval of ITC and STSM grants – Headed by Dr Christine Lochner (South Africa)
10th Jan 2018

Work Group 2- Training and Mentorship 1st WG meeting

5th Jan 2018

Teleconference PUI Cost Action WP1

11th Dec 2017

First Workgroup 4 meeting

1st Dec 2017

First Workgroup 2 meeting

10th Nov 2017

First Work Group 1 meeting

9-10th Nov 2017

ITC Proposers Day, Budapest

23rd Oct 2017

First MC Meeting, Brussels