Background and aims. Internet addiction (IA) has negative consequences on the mental health and affects daily activities. This study was conducted with the aim to assess the prevalence of Internet addiction among dental university students and to determine if there is any relationship of excessive Internet use with depression and academic performance among students.

Methods. This was a cross sectional study which included 384 dental students from different academic years. A questionnaire was prepared that collected information on demographic characteristics, pattern of Internet use, duration of use, and most common mode of Internet access. Internet addiction was assessed using Youngs Internet Addiction test. Depression was assessed using Becks depression inventory [BDI-1].

Results. The prevalence of Internet addiction and depression was found to be 6% and 21.5% respectively. The first year students showed the highest mean Internet addiction (17.42±12.40) score. Chatting was the main purpose for Internet use. Logistic regression analysis showed that individuals who were depressed (Odds Ratio=6.00, p value<0.0001*) and scored less than 60% marks (Odds Ratio=6.71, p value<0.0001*) were more likely to be addicted to Internet.

Conclusion. The addiction to internet has negative impact on mental health and academic performance. These high risk group students should be identified and psychological counseling should be provided.


Internet addiction, depression, academic performance, counseling, India