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Study of internet addiction: Prevalence, pattern, and psychopathology among health professional undergraduates

Research paper by Sachin R Gedam, Santanu Ghosh, Lipsy Modi, Arvind Goyal, Himanshu Mansharamani

Indexed on: 24 Nov '17Published on: 17 Nov '17Published in: Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry



Abstract

Sachin R Gedam, Santanu Ghosh, Lipsy Modi, Arvind Goyal, Himanshu Mansharamani Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry 2017 33(4):305-311 Background: Internet has become an essential part of our daily life, especially among adolescents and youth. It is mainly used for education, entertainment, social networking, and information sharing. Its excessive use among health care providers is becoming a major concern. Aims: The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence, understand the pattern, and to determine the association between psychopathology and internet addiction among health profession undergraduates. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 846 students of various faculties from Deemed University. Students were assessed with semi-structured data, Internet Addiction Test and Mental Health Inventory, after giving them brief instructions. Students were classified into normal students and addicted students for comparison. Results: The total prevalence of internet addiction was 19.85%, with moderate and severe addiction being 19.5% and 0.4%, respectively. Internet addiction was associated with gender, computer ownership, preferred time of internet use, login status, and mode of internet access (P < 0.05). It was also associated with anxiety, depression, loss of emotional/behavioral control, emotional ties, life satisfaction, psychological distress, and lower psychological well-being (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Significant association was found between psychopathology and internet addiction. Male gender, login status, emotional ties, and psychological distress were found to be important predictors of internet addiction among students. Hence, these parameters should be taken into consideration while promoting awareness of problematic internet use and educating students regarding healthy internet use.