Anxiety and Problematic Internet Use in Tunisian students

Tunis Med. 2020 Oct;98(10):745-749.


Background: The timing of this study coincides with the growing rate of penetration of Internet service across the country. However, it is predictable that any new technology may be associated with a variety of human responses, sometimes harmfull. The young students seem to be especially vulnerable.

Objective: The purposes of this study were to evaluate Problematic Internet Use among medical undergraduate students and to investigate for associated anxious symptoms.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study on 120 students enrolled in undergraduate medical studies at the University of Medicine of Sfax- Tunisia. The self-administered Young's 8-item questionnaire was used in this survey. The state and trait anxiety inventory was administered to screen for anxiety symptoms.

Results: The results showed that 21.7% of the students have Problematic Internet Use (PIU).The rate of the PIU is greater in male students than infemale students (p=0.035). Anxiety trait was significantly associated in students with PIU compared to those without PIU (p=0.002). Anxiety state was significantly associated in students with PIU compared to those without PIU ( p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Problematic Internet Use is frequent in our students population. Asking students about the characteristics of their Internet usage will help to determine the threats to which they might be exposed. Such association with other psychopathologic problems, especially anxiety, should be sought.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet Use / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tunisia
  • Young Adult