Prevalence of Internet Addiction and Associated Psychological Co-morbidities among College Students in Bhutan (2018)

JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2018 Mar-Apr;56(210):558-564.

Tenzin K1, Dorji T2, Gurung MS3, Dorji P3, Tamang S4, Pradhan U5, Dorji G6.



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.


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.


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.


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.


internet addiction; protective; smartphone.