PLoS One. 2017 Mar 20;12(3):e0174209. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174209.
To study the extent of Internet addiction (IA) and its association with depression in Thai medical students.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital. Participants were first- to fifth-year medical students who agreed to participate in this study. Demographic characteristics and stress-related factors were derived from self-rated questionnaires. Depression was assessed using the Thai version of Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). A total score of five or greater derived from the Thai version of Young Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction was classified as “possible IA”. Then chi-square test and logistic regression were used to evaluate the associations between possible IA, depression and associated factors.
From 705 participants, 24.4% had possible IA and 28.8% had depression. There was statistically significant association between possible IA and depression (odds ratio (OR) 1.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.34-2.77, P-value <0.001). Logistic regression analysis illustrated that the odds of depression in possible IA group was 1.58 times of the group of normal Internet use (95% CI: 1.04-2.38, P-value = 0.031). Academic problems were found to be a significant predictor of both possible IA and depression.
IA was likely to be a common psychiatric problem among Thai medical students. The research has also shown that possible IA was associated with depression and academic problems. We suggest that surveillance of IA should be considered in medical schools.