The association between internet addiction and psychiatric co-morbidity: a meta-analysis (2014)

Roger C Ho, Melvyn WB Zhang, Tammy Y Tsang, Anastasia H Toh, Fang Pan, Yanxia Lu, Cecilia Cheng, Paul S Yip, Lawrence T Lam, Ching-Man Lai, Hiroko Watanabe and Kwok-Kei Mak

Abstract (provisional)


This study evaluates the association between Internal Addiction (IA) and psychiatric co-morbidity in the literature.


Meta-analyses were conducted on cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies which examined the relationship between IA and psychiatric co-morbidity. Selected studies were extracted from major online databases. The inclusion criteria are as follows: 1) studies conducted on human subjects; 2) IA and psychiatric co-morbidity were assessed by standardised questionnaires; and 3) availability of adequate information to calculate the effect size. Random-effects models were used to calculate the aggregate prevalence and the pooled odds ratios (OR).


Eight studies comprising 1641 patients suffering from IA and 11210 controls were included. Our analyses demonstrated a significant and positive association between IA and alcohol abuse (OR = 3.05, 95% CI = 2.14-4.37, z = 6.12, P < 0.001), attention deficit and hyperactivity (OR = 2.85, 95% CI = 2.15-3.77, z = 7.27, P < 0.001), depression (OR = 2.77, 95% CI = 2.04-3.75, z = 6.55, P < 0.001) and anxiety (OR = 2.70, 95% CI = 1.46-4.97, z = 3.18, P = 0.001).


IA is significantly associated with alcohol abuse, attention deficit and hyperactivity, depression and anxiety.

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