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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-78

Risk of internet addiction among undergraduate medical, nursing, and lab technology students of a health institution from Delhi, India

Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi 110007, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Sachdeva
Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi 110007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2226-8561.174770

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Objective: To assess prevalence, usage pattern, and risk of internet addiction (IA) among undergraduate students of a health institution from Delhi. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out during March-April 2015 using 20-item Young's IA test, a Likert scale-based interview schedule with scores ranging from 0 to 100 points with a higher score indicating greater internet dependency. Background variables included sociodemographic details, general health practices, self-assessment of mental health status, inter-personal relation (family/friends), personality type, and global satisfaction in life. The scoring pattern was analyzed in the form of low risk (score ≤49 points) and high risk (score ≥50 points) for IA. The proportion, Chi-square test, adjusted, and un-adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval) were computed using regression analysis. Results: Out of 202, 40.6% were MBBS students, followed by 35.6% from nursing, and 23.8% from medical lab technology stream; 68.3% were females; the mean age was 20.3 ± 1.4 years; and 61.9% were residing in hostels. It was observed that 44 (21.8%) and 22 (10.9%) students had ever consumed alcohol and smoked, respectively, while only 42 (20.8%) were engaged in physical activity (≥30 min) during most (≥5) of the days of the week. Based on self-assessment, 33 (16.3%) were globally dissatisfied and 88 (43.6%) reported themselves to be introverts. The majority of students were using internet for educational purpose (98%), entertainment (95.0%), accessing social sites (92.5%), checking E-mails (76.2%), and pornographic websites (45%). With regard to IA, 171 (84.7%) were at low risk (score ≤49) and 31 (15.4%) were at high risk (score ≥50). Male students (P = 0.001), ever consumed alcohol (P = 0.003), ever smoker (P = 0.02), and regular physical activity (P = 0.04) were found to be significantly associated with a high risk of IA based on Chi-square test, but none were found significant at higher levels of analyses (adjusted OR). No significant association of IA was found with mental status, global satisfaction, inter-personal relationship, or personality type. Conclusion: A large majority (84.7%) of students in our study are found to be at low risk of internet addiction.

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