Prevalence and Associated Factors of Internet Gaming Disorder in Africa: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Survey
J Addict Psychiatr Ment Health
Background: In today’s digital world, internet use across ages is increasingly becoming worrisome. Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) was an emerging potential psychiatric diagnosis, as American Psychological Association recommended further studies on the phenomenon so as to include in the fourth coming DSM-6 as a full diagnostic condition. The purpose of this study was to establish the prevalence and associated factors of IGD in Africa.
Methods: This study was a web-based cross-sectional survey of 728 eligible respondents who assented to participate via google form. The samples were drawn from four major regions in Africa; Eastern Africa (416, 57.1%), Western Africa (129, 17.7%), Southern Africa (93, 12.8%) and Northern Africa (90, 12.4%). Researcher-generated socio-demographic questionnaire and Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form (IGDS9-SF) were used in English language to collect data from the participants.
Results: Result from this study indicated that the general prevalence of IGD among African respondents aged 10 to 50 years was 22.4%. However, the prevalence of IGD was found to be higher among participants aged 10-22 years at 14.3%, male participants at 13.5%, East Africa at 8.2%, and among participants whose family was perceived to be averagely functional at 9.2%. In addition, Binary Logistic Regression analysis showed that participants aged 10-22 years (AOR: 2.35; 95% CI: 0.881-6.294), respondents who came from Western Africa (AOR: 3.26; 95% CI: 1.963-5.411), respondents whose family economic status was considered to be very poor (AOR: 1.68; 95% CI: 0.465-6.072), and respondents who perceived their family functionality chaotic/dysfunctional (AOR: 2.83; 95% CI: 1.051-7.602) were at risk of internet gaming disorder. Also, being female (AOR: .93; 95% CI: 0.631-1.368), Average family economic status (AOR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.276-2.328) and rich family economic status (AOR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.240-2.652) were seen to be protective factors in this present study.
Conclusion: This study concluded that IGD is indeed a public phenomenon especially in Africa, and a call to mental health providers to consider preventive measures and that interventions should particularly target those with increased risk of developing the newly emerged disorder.
Keywords: Prevalence; Risk and Protective Factors; Internet Gaming Disorders; Africa