Problematic internet use among students in South-East Asia: Current state of evidence (2018)

Indian J Public Health. 2018 Jul-Sep;62(3):197-210. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_288_17.

Balhara YPS1, Mahapatra A2, Sharma P3, Bhargava R1.


Problematic Internet use (PIU) among students has become a significant mental health concern. Our goals were to review the existing studies on problematic Internet from Southeast Asian Region and examine: the prevalence for PIU among students; explore for sociodemographic and clinical correlates; and assess the physical, mental, and psychosocial impact of PIU in this population. All studies conducted among population of the Southeast Asia, involving students (school students to postgraduate students) of any age which explored etiological factors and/or the prevalence or any other factor associated with PIU/Internet addiction were considered eligible for the present review. The electronic databases of PubMed and Google Scholar were systematically searched for the relevant published studies up to and including October 2016. Our search strategy yielded 549 articles, 295 of which were eligible for screening based on their publication in English language in a peer-reviewed journal. Of these, a total of 38 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The prevalence of severe PIU/Internet addiction ranged from 0 to 47.4%, whereas the prevalence of Internet overuse/possible Internet addiction ranged from 7.4% to 46.4% among students from Southeast Asia. Physical impairments in the form of insomnia (26.8%), daytime sleepiness (20%), and eye strain (19%) were also reported among problem users. There is a need to conduct further research in this area to explore the protective and risk factors associated with it and also longitudinally assess the trajectories of the outcome.

KEYWORDS: Behavioral Addictions Clinic; Behavioral addiction; Internet addiction; Internet gaming disorder; problematic Internet use

PMID: 30232969

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_288_17