Study revealed that medical students with internet addiction had three times the risk of developing social phobia, four times the risk of developing depression when compared with students without internet addiction.
New Delhi: Internet has become an integral part of day-to-day life of the university students. It has become indispensable. It gives unlimited access to information; it keeps you updated with the latest techniques and drugs. But internet usage is known to lead to addictive behavior, and Internet addiction threatens to develop into a major public health issue in the near future in a rapidly developing country like India.
With the constant advances in medical fields, medical students have a greater reliance on internet for their information needs and hence more susceptible to internet addiction
A recent Study at a south Indian medical college revealed that more than 60% medicos had internet addition in some form.
Moreover, Internet addiction is leading to growing social phobia, and higher risk of depression among medical students, a recent study in the recent edition of the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public health revealed.
Seeing the growing dependence of medical students on the internet for their needs, doctors at the Department of Community Medicine, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Institute performed a study to determine the association between internet addiction, social phobia and depression in medical college students
The authors performed a cross-sectional study on around 600 MBBS students and MBBS interns at Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences, Maduranthagam. Of the 600 MBBS students, 489 gave consent to participate. They were evaluated using a questionnaire which included an internet addiction scale to assess internet addiction, social phobia inventory to assess social phobia and depression and somatic scale to assess depression. Of the 489 students who participated, 54.4% were females.
The authors found that 63.8% had a mild internet addiction and only 0,4% had a severe addiction. Of those suffering from internet addiction, 52.5% of the students were suffering from social phobia. It was found that students with internet addiction had three times the risk of developing social phobia, four times the risk of developing depression when compared with students without internet addiction.
The authors concluded that Excessive use of the internet affects the academic achievements of students. Students addicted to the internet are more involved in it and spend more time online than their studies which invariably affects their grades. Seminars and media can play an important role in making people aware of causes and effects of internet addiction.
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