Hong Kong Med J 2013;19(Suppl 9):S9-11
Pathological Internet use and associated factors among university students in Hong Kong
JH Kim, SM Griffiths, CH Lau, BYF Fong, J Lam
School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. Among university entrants, the prevalence of pathological Internet use (PIU) increased more than three-fold (from 5.0 to 15.7%) after 18 months of university life. Psycho-social factors such as depression, life dissatisfaction, and use of the Internet for recreational purposes were associated with the development of PIU.
2. University health workers should be aware that PIU is associated with inferior mental well-being, increased sleeping disorders, and deterioration of family relationships. Special attention should be given to Mainland Chinese students and those with pre-existing psychological problems, as they are more prone to developing PIU.
3. Most university students with PIU were unaware of the health implications of the condition and thus not motivated to seek help. Health workers must take a pro-active approach.