Association Between Internet Addiction, Depression and Sleep Quality Among Undergraduate Students of Medical and Allied Sciences
Background: The use of the internet is growing rapidly worldwide with easier availability and affordability in developing countries like Nepal. Apart from several benefits, it has also led to deleterious effects on certain individuals’ physical and mental well-being. The present study aimed to assess the burden of internet addiction among nursing, dental and medical undergraduates at a medical school, and examine its relationship with depression and sleep quality.
Methods: A cross-sectional study among 494 students pursuing nursing, dental and medical undergraduate courses at the same medical college in Nepal was conducted. The burden of internet addiction, depression, and sleep disturbance was assessed using Young’s Internet addiction test, Beck’s depression inventory, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaires respectively.
Results: The majority of respondents reported either controlled use of internet or mild problem with internet use. However, 4.7% of respondents reported significant problems due to internet use. Further, about 42.3% reported poor sleep quality, and 8.9% screened positive for depression. In both chi-square and logistic regression analyses, internet addiction was significantly associated with poor sleep quality and depression.
Conclusion: The study shows that about half of the participants experienced at least some problems and a small but significant proportion of them reported severe problems due to internet use. This warrants the need to address the issue of internet addiction among medical and allied sciences students in Nepal. Further, internet addiction is associated with both depression and poor sleep quality, highlighting a need to develop effective interventions targeting all three problems holistically.
Keywords: Depression; internet addiction; sleep quality
Copyright (c) 2021 Luna Paudel, Pawan Sharma, Anuj Raj Kadel, Kshitiz Lakhey, Swarndeep Singh, Pratibha Khanal, Rachana Sharma, Pratikshya Chalise, Subash Chandra Sharma, Sudarshan Narsingh Pradhan
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