Prevalence and determinants of internet addiction among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: An online cross-sectional study

Author:- Poly Rani Biswas, Benojir Ahammed, Md. Shiafur Rahman, Byazid Mahin Nirob, Md. Tanvir Hossain
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2022
Discipline:- Sociology Discipline
School:- Social Science School


Globally, internet use has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and internet addiction (IA) has become a severe public health issue. Therefore, this study aimed to assess IA prevalence among adults and identify its determinants during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. Using a cross-sectional design, this study recruited 608 participants through a self-administered online-based e-questionnaire. Young’s internet addiction test (YIAT) of 20 items was used to assess the prevalence of IA among adults in Bangladesh. Bivariate and binary logistic regression analyses explored the factors influencing IA.The overall prevalence of IA was 29.4% among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the addiction rate was 34.7% among participants under 20 years old. Tobacco smoking (AOR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.15–3.07) and spending more time on the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic (AOR = 2.06, 95% CI 1.08–3.94) were likely the reasons for IA among Bangladeshi adults. Participants aged over 24 years (AOR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.17–0.91), living in rural areas (AOR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.32–0.81), living away from family (AOR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.26–0.79), attached to physical activity (AOR = 0.35, 95% CI 0.24–0.52), and sleeping less than or equal 6 hours (AOR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.42–0.93) had a lower chance of IA during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study has shown that the prevalence of IA was comparatively higher among younger participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Smoking, long-time use of the internet, physical activity status, and sleeping duration were the most significant determinants of IA. Thus, raising awareness among the younger generation is the most important strategy to reduce IA. The findings of this study can be used to support health and educational organizations to design their programs, which will help prevent IA in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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