1Department of Community Health Nursing, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, IR Iran
2Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, IR Iran
3Department of Health Statistics, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, IR Iran
Background Internet is one of the technologies of the modern era that is being extensively used around the world. It is believed that excessive Internet use can be pathological and addictive. Though, academic use of the Internet is primarily intended for learning and research, students are one of the groups at risk of Internet addiction. Objectives Due to the expanding use of Internet among the university students, this study was conducted to examine the Internet addiction and its predictors among Guilan University of Medical Sciences students. Materials and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 583 students during the first semester of 2012. A two-stage stratified random sampling was conducted and a two-part instrument was used for data collection. The first part of the instrument was consisted of questions about demographic characteristics and the second part was the Young's Internet addiction inventory. Chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis testes, Spearman correlation coefficient and ranked logistic regression were used for data analysis. Results About 5.7% of the students were moderately dependent to the Internet, while 44.1% were at risk for Internet addiction. Significant relationships were observed between the Internet addiction with age (P < 0.001), gender (P < 0.001), marital status (P < 0.001), major (P = 0.016), Grade point average (P = 0.017), semester of studying (P = 0.009) and student residence place (P = 0.014). However, no significant relationship was observed between the internet addiction score and level of discipline, parental job status and education level or the students’ accommodation. Conclusion About half of the participants in this study were at risk of Internet addiction. This finding can be a warning sign for the authorities in universities to pay more attention to this issue. A wide range of education along with empowering programs may be needed to inform the university students about the advantages and disadvantages of internet and the correct manner of using it.