Evaluating the quality of evidence for gaming disorder: A summary of systematic reviews of associations between gaming disorder and depression or anxiety

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 15, Issue 10)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,553 words
Lexile Measure: 1600L

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Abstract :

Gaming disorder has been described as an urgent public health problem and has garnered many systematic reviews of its associations with other health conditions. However, review methodology can contribute to bias in the conclusions, leading to research, policy, and patient care that are not truly evidence-based. This study followed a pre-registered protocol (PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018090651) with the objective of identifying reliable and methodologically-rigorous systematic reviews that examine the associations between gaming disorder and depression or anxiety in any population. We searched PubMed and PsycInfo for published systematic reviews and the gray literature for unpublished systematic reviews as of June 24, 2020. Reviews were classified as reliable according to several quality criteria, such as whether they conducted a risk of bias assessment of studies and whether they clearly described how outcomes from each study were selected. We assessed possible selective outcome reporting among the reviews. Seven reviews that included a total of 196 studies met inclusion criteria. The overall number of participants was not calculable because not all reviews reported these data. All reviews specified eligibility criteria for studies, but not for outcomes within studies. Only one review assessed risk of bias. Evidence of selective outcome reporting was found in all reviews-only one review incorporated any of the null findings from studies it included. Thus, none were classified as reliable according to prespecified quality criteria. Systematic reviews related to gaming disorder do not meet methodological standards. As clinical and policy decisions are heavily reliant on reliable, accurate, and unbiased evidence synthesis; researchers, clinicians, and policymakers should consider the implications of selective outcome reporting. Limitations of the current summary include using counts of associations and restricting to systematic reviews published in English. Systematic reviewers should follow established guidelines for review conduct and transparent reporting to ensure evidence about technology use disorders is reliable.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A639521211