Kristiana Siste, Enjeline Hanafi, Lee Thung Sen, Hans Christian, Adrian, Levina Putri Siswidiani, Albert Prabowo Limawan, Belinda Julivia Murtani, & Christiany Suwartono
Introduction: Physical distancing has encouraged the public to utilize the Internet for virtually all daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Internet addiction (IA) prevalence and analyzed the correlated factors during quarantine and pandemic. Methods: An online survey was generated, comprising of a sociodemographic section, Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (KDAI), Symptoms Checklist-90, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. The hyperlink was disseminated through social media, companies, and universities. Overall, 4,734 adults, (mean age 31.84 ± 7.73 years old and 55.2% males) representing all 34 provinces of Indonesia, gave valid responses. Results: Point prevalence of IA during the COVID-19 pandemic was 14.4% in Indonesian adults. Online duration increased by 52% compared to before the pandemic. Physical distancing was not established as a risk of IA. Increased daily online duration, specific motivations, types of application, and having confirmed/suspected COVID-19 cases within the household were predictive of IA. All subscales of SCL-90 and PSQI were higher in the group with positive/suspect cases of COVID-19 within households and were correlated to higher scores of IA. Discussion: Physical distancing alone was not associated with an increased risk of IA. The prevalence of IA during COVID-19 was higher than the previously proposed rate among Indonesian adults, which might be related to digital activities associated with COVID-19 and the popularity of virtual socializing. Furthermore, psychopathologies and sleep disruptions were related to IA occurrences and especially prevalent in groups with proximity to COVID-19. Fear of COVID-19 contraction and rampant misinformation of COVID-19 probably contributed to these factors, which potentially harbor longterm consequences. Conclusion: The current study demonstrated a high point prevalence of IA and identified several preventable factors predictive of IA during home-quarantine and COVID-19, especially in adults with confirmed/suspected COVID-19 cases within the household. However, physical distancing did not increase the odds of IA. Public health agencies should maintain physical distancing advisory while providing adaptive psychiatric education and service.