The frequency of impairments in everyday activities due to the overuse of the internet, gaming, or smartphone, and its relationship to health-related quality of life in Korea
Yeo-Won Jeong, Young-Ran Han, Sang-Kyu Kim, Han-Seok Jeong
BMC Public Health
This study aimed to investigate the relationships between the frequency of impairments in daily activities due to the overuse of the Internet, gaming, or smartphones (IGS) and sociodemographic characteristics, social relationships (including family) & activities, psychosocial characteristics, health status, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Korean adults. Secondary data from the 2017 Community Health Survey, a large-scale sample survey conducted yearly in South Korea, were analyzed
... or 190,066 adults over 19 years of age. Three categories were created for impairment groups due to IGS overuse: No Impairment, Mild Impairment, and Moderate-to-Severe groups. And between-group differences were examined using a one-way ANOVA for health status measured with the EQ-5D-3 L and chi-square tests for all categorical dependent variables, which included sociodemographic characteristics, social relationships & activities, and psychosocial factors. The association between frequencies of daily activity impairments due to IGS overuse and the dependent variables were examined using a multivariate logistic regression analysis and a linear regression model. Approximately 21,345 (11.23%) of the 190,066 participants reported experiencing impairments in daily activities due to IGS overuse at least once in the previous year and the impairments were more severe in males than females. Participants experiencing impairments in daily activities contacted their friends a significantly higher number of times (4 times or more per month) and engaged in leisure activities more frequently (more than once per month) than those without impairments. There was also a significant positive relationship between IGS overuse and stress, depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Among participants aged 19-64, impairments in daily activities due to IGS overuse were associated with a lower HRQoL. Conversely, for those aged 65 and over, mild and moderate-to-severe impairments due to IGS overuse were associated with a significantly higher HRQoL. Increased impairments in daily activities due to IGS overuse may negatively affect mental health. However, among older adults, the frequency of such impairments was positively associated with HRQoL. This finding could be considered to apply interventions with Internet usage or ICT devices for older adults to enhance their quality of life.