Prevalence of Internet Addiction and Associated Psychological Co-morbidities among College Students in Bhutan

  • Karma Tenzin Faculty of Postgraduate Medicine, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan
  • Thinley Dorji Kidu Medical Unit, Gyalpoi Zimpon’s office, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Mongal S Gurung Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Dorji Pelzom Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Sandip Tamang Tshimalakha Hospital, Chhukha, Bhutan
  • Umesh Pradhan Central Regional Referral Hospital, Gelephu
  • Gampo Dorji South East Asia Regional Office, World Health Organization, Delhi, India

Abstract

Introduction: Globally 3.5 billion people have access to internet and most of them are young adults and adolescents. In South Asia, Bhutan has the highest proportion of population with internet access at 37% in 2016. Many studies in Asia have reported significantly high level of internet addiction among college going students. In this light, this study was designed to estimate the prevalence of internet addiction and other co-morbidities.
Methods: This cross sectional study included 823 first year and final year students aged 18-24 from six colleges in Bhutan. A self-administered questionnaire consisting of three parts was utilized for data collection. The data was entered and validated in Epidata and analyzed using STATA/IC 14.
Results: The prevalence of moderate and severe internet addiction was 282 (34.3%) and 10 (1%) respectively. Positive correlations between internet addiction and psychological well-being (r= 0.331 95% CI: 0.269, 0.390), between Internet Addiction score and years of internet usage (r=0.104 95% CI: 0.036, 0.171), age and years of using internet (r= 0.8 95% CI: 0.012, 0.148) were observed. The commonest mode of internet use was martphone 714 (86.8%). The use of computer laboratory (aPR 0.80, 95%CI: 0.66, 0.96) and internet use for news and educational purposes (aPR 0.76, 95%CI: 0.64, 0.9) showed protective effects.
Conclusions: The prevalence of internet addiction is high among the college going students in Bhutan. This warrants timely interventions to address the problems of internet addiction.

Author Biographies

Dorji Pelzom, Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
Umesh Pradhan, Central Regional Referral Hospital, Gelephu

 

 

Published
2018-05-03
How to Cite
Tenzin, K., Dorji, T., Gurung, M., Pelzom, D., Tamang, S., Pradhan, U., & Dorji, G. (2018). Prevalence of Internet Addiction and Associated Psychological Co-morbidities among College Students in Bhutan. Journal of Nepal Medical Association, 56(210). https://doi.org/10.31729/jnma.3447
Section
Original Article