Clinical validation of the C-VAT 2.0 assessment tool for gaming disorder: A sensitivity analysis of the proposed DSM-5 criteria and the clinical characteristics of young patients with 'video game addiction'

Antonius J. van Rooij*, Tim M. Schoenmakers, Dike Van de Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)



Clinicians struggle with the identification of video gaming problems. To address this issue, a clinical assessment tool (C-VAT 2.0) was developed and tested in a clinical setting. The instrument allows exploration of the validity of the DSM-5 proposal for 'internet gaming disorder'.


Using C-VAT 2.0, the current study provides a sensitivity analysis of the proposed DSM-5 criteria in a clinical youth sample (13-23 years old) in treatment for video gaming disorder (N = 32). The study also explores the clinical characteristics of these patients.


The patients were all male and reported spending extensive amounts of time on video games. At least half of the patients reported playing online games (n = 15). Comorbid problems were common (n = 22) and included (social) anxiety disorders, PDD NOS, ADHD/ADD, Parent-Child relationship problem, and various types of depressive mood problems. The sensitivity of the test was good: results further show that the C-VAT correctly identified 91% of the sample at the proposed cut-off score of at least 5 out of 9 of the criteria. As our study did not include healthy, extreme garners, we could not assess the specificity of the tool: future research should make this a priority.


Using the proposed DSM-5 cut-off score, the C-VAT 2.0 shows preliminary validity in a sample of garners in treatment for gaming disorder, but the discriminating value of the instrument should be studied further. In the meantime, it is crucial that therapists try to avoid false positives by using expert judgment of functional impairment in each case. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Internet gaming disorder
  • Video game addiction
  • Assessment tool
  • DSM-5
  • Sensitivity
  • Adolescents

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