Addict Behav. 2019 Jan 31. pii: S0306-4603(18)31238-3. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.01.043.
Studies performed worldwide show excessive Internet use could have a negative impact on health. However, Internet use studies in Vietnam are limited. In this study, we reported a high prevalence of frequent Internet usage among Vietnamese youth between 16 and 30 years old. Of 1200 participants, almost 65% reported using the Internet daily. Moreover, 34.3% of the participants reported feeling anxious or uncomfortable after not using the Internet for one day irrespective of their gender, and 40% believed using the Internet frequently did not affect their health. Of those, there was a higher proportion of women than men that held this belief (42.1% vs. 35.9%, respectively, p = .03). In this cohort, undergraduate students were more likely than blue-collar workers to believe that frequent Internet use could affect health. Yet, undergraduate [OR = 1.50, 95%CI = (1.08, 2.09), p < .05)] and high school students (OR = 1.54, 95%CI = 1.00, 2.37), p < .1) were more likely than blue collar workers to feel anxious or uncomfortable after a day without the Internet. Participants in urban areas were more than twice as likely than those from rural areas to believe the Internet did not affect their health [(OR = 0.60, 95%CI = (0.41,0.89), p < .01)]. Lastly, participants between 16 and 18 years old were less likely to believe in the negative impact of the Internet on health than older participants. A better understanding of factors underlying high Internet usage and low perception of its health effects among Vietnamese youth might help develop better intervention strategies for Internet Use Disorder and other Technology Related Use Disorders.
KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; Problematic Internet Use; Vietnamese youth