Patterns of Internet Use in Medical Students




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The Collaboration Project to Increase Production of Rural Doctor,Thailand

  • Internet has become the world's biggest library1 and important source of up-to-date medical information.2
  • Thai internet users are increasing.3
  • However, few studies mentioned the pattern of internet use in medical students,  4-6    especially during their class time.
  • The present study aims to assess the pattern internet use in medical students during their class time and in their daily lives.
  • Electronic Poster
Summary of Work
  • Descriptive study was conducted between Febuary and March 2012.
  • 216 students were included (1st to 6th year).
  • Self-administered questionair was sent through their e-mails.
  • Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. 
Summary of Results
  • The response rate was 76%.
  • Medical students used internet via personal computer 57% and smartphone 34%.
  • Most of them used internet at dormitory (78%).

  • Medical students used internet mostly for personal social communication rather than for educational search even during their class time.
  • Most of them stated that they may addicted internet. 

Take-home Messages
  • Discipline for internet use in the class should be reinforced to prevent the drawback of the internet such as Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)
  • Teaching style may need to be adjusted.

  • Collaborative Project to Increase Production of Rual Doctor (CPIRD)Ministry of Public Health,Thailand.
  • Khon Kaen Medical Education Center. Khon Kaen Hospital.
    • Surachai Saranritthichai
    • Thammasorn Piriyasupong
    • Kanowan Sriruksa
  • Associate Professor Chanvit Pornnoppadol. 

             Department of Child and Adolescence Psychiatry,

             Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.

  • RealitysParadox: VDO clip



All the references are listed in the details.


Summary of Work
Summary of Results
  • In daily life, most of them used internet for personal social 

      communication (87%).


  • GPA was not associated with self evaluation regarding internet addiction. 

  • Useful of social communication.
  • Next step:
    • feedback the result (addicted internet?) from the Internet  Addiction Score to the medical student.
    • teach the clinical and how to prevent the IAD.
Take-home Messages
  • Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)7

          1. Recognized as a disorder by the

              American Psychological Association.

          2.In DSM-V: the diagnosis is a compulsive-impulsive

             spectrum disorder.

          3. Internet Addiction Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria

              Five (or more) of the following:

              3.1 Is preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous

                    online activity or anticipate next online session).

              3.2 Needs to use the internet with increased amounts of

                    time in order to achieve satisfaction.
             3.3 Has made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or

                    stop Internet use.

              3.4 Is restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when

                    attempting to cut down or stop Internet use.

              3.5 Has stayed online longer than originally intended.

              3.6 Has jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant

                    relationship, job, educational or career opportunity

                    because of the Internet.

              3.7 Has lied to family members, therapist, or others to

                    conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.

              3.8 Uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems

                    or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of 

                    helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression).

  • Prevention internet addiction8  

          1. People must recognize pattern of overuse.

          2. Awareness of basic symptoms.

          3. To identify underlying problems and work through rather than

              escape it.

          4. Gradually decline the time to use internet.                     


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    Informatics and decision Making.2003:3-10.

3. Piya T. Thailand Internet Snapshot 2011 bu Statistics, 2011.

4. Barnergi I, Biswas S,Biswas A,et al.Trend of internet use among

    medical students.J Indian Med Assoc.2011 Jul;109(7):459-61.

5. Hattab NM, Lahmiti S, Ben Abdelaziz A, et al. Internet and medial student

    in Marrakech. Ann Afr Med. 2010 Apr-Jun;9(2):68-72. 

6. Unnikrishnan B, Kulshrestha V, Saraf A, et al. Pattern of computer and

    internet use among medical students in Coastal South India.South East Asian

    Journal of Medical Education.2008;2(2):18-25.

7. Jeral J. Issue for DSM-V:Internet Addiction. Am J Psychiatry 2008;165:


8. Jin-Sook L, Young-Kwon B, Seong-Sik K. A Learning System for Internet

    Addiction Prevention. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on

    Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT’04).2004.


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