iControl: An approach of addiction prevention and digital self-regulation strategies
The current pandemic context highlighted the importance of technology and social networks in mental health issues. This is particularly acute in younger generations. Knowing some of its benefits and risks, resources have been developed to prevent internet problematic use, namely the promotion of health literacy through providing information, associated with personal and social skills training programs. Technological tools such as applications of self-regulation also contribute to a healthier use. In a partnership between Lisbon and Tagus Valley Regional Health Administration - Division for Intervention in Addictive Behaviours and Dependency (ARSLVT-DICAD) and Tomar Polytechnic Institute (IPT), a project was developed that aims to combine health literacy and strategies of self-regulation of internet use.
The methodologies used for data collection were: - Bibliographic research on the subjects 'problematic use of the internet', 'risk and protective factors', 'level of risk assessment' and 'existing applications to control the time spent online'. - Survey of existing resources for prevention and treatment of technology addictive behaviours, dedicated to young people, in the region. - Application of a questionnaire about risk perception of internet use, as well as effective self-regulation strategies, among university students.
The questionnaires results showed different motivations for using the internet, risk perception , as well as self-regulation strategies. The apps identified, mostly control the time spent online shutting down applications at programmed times. Adding the epidemiological and risk factors information, a prevention program was developed aimed at identifying level of technology addictive risk, providing tips of self-regulation that could fit on the identified risk level and provide a guide of psychosocial resources.
The aim of this project is to integrate resources from mental health and addiction area with technological tools, pointing to the development of a multi platform app that can combine health and well-being information, promote self-regulation and prevent technology addictive behaviours.