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Internet: A double-edged sword? – A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Travancore Medical College, Kollam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, K D Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College, Perambalur, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Neethu George,
Department of Community Medicine, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College, Perambalur - 621 212, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INJMS.INJMS_26_19

Introduction: The Internet has become a must-present factor in our day-to-day life. As like any other substance like plastic, the Internet also demonstrates threats which affect health and thereby life also. Objectives: To find the prevalence and impact of internet addiction on health and lifestyle of medical students in a private medical college in Kerala. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted among medical students for a period of 1 month. A questionnaire was used to document the sociodemographic details, internet addiction by young's Internet Addiction Test, and questions regarding impact of the Internet on life. Results: In the present study, we found that 71% of students (mild 107 [54%] and moderate 34 [17%]) had internet addiction. Internet addiction was significantly associated with male gender, mobile/tablet usage, eye strain, time to initiate sleep, frequency of sleep trouble, hours spent on the Internet, money spent, presence of backache, and appetite change with internet addiction. Conclusion: The study finding of presence of internet addiction has to be considered seriously along with tobacco and alcohol consumption. Awareness has to be made relating to the right use, right amount, and right time of using the Internet.

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