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Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction


Summary Development and effectiveness testing of a web-based self-help program to reduce problematic online pornography consumption
Project Manager(s) Michael Schaub
Duration 02.2019
Client / Funding Partner(s)  
Cooperating partner(s) ELTE Eötvös Lorànd University, Hungary; Université de Montréal, Canada; Stanford University, USA.


According to current studies, 1-6% of the population suspect problematic consumption of pornography in the past year. This is accompanied by major restrictions in everyday life, e.g. conflicts in relationships , neglect of obligations or failure to achieve important goals in life. So far, there are hardly any treatment options available and the effectiveness is usually not well investigated. It can be assumed that those affected are better reached with low-threshold offers such as anonymous online-based self-help and that acceptance is higher than with traditional offers. Online-based self-help programmes have already been successfully developed and evaluated for substance-related addictions (e.g. cannabis, alcohol) or pathological gambling. For the area of problematic pornography consumption, no online-based interventions are available so far.


Based on previous experience with significantly effective online tools for substance-related addictions and pathological gambling, an online-based self-help program for the reduction of problematic pornography consumption ("hands-off") is to be developed, programmed, implemented and examined for its effectiveness in a controlled study.


Two-arm randomized controlled web-based study, comparison between the hands-off intervention and a control condition

Value of the project

The project is the first scientific investigation of the effectiveness of online-based self-help to reduce problematic pornography consumption in the general population. It thus makes an important contribution to the treatment of this problem.


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