Chia, D. X. Y., Ng, C. W. L., Kandasami, G., Seow, M. Y. L., Choo, C. C., Chew, P. K. H., … Zhang, M. W. B. (2020). Prevalence of internet addiction and gaming disorders in Southeast Asia: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072582
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13588
This meta-analytic review aimed to examine the pooled prevalence rates of Internet addiction and gaming disorders in Southeast Asia. Several databases including PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane Central were searched and a total of 24 studies were included in this study. The selection of studies was conducted in accordance to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Two meta-analyses were conducted to examine data on Internet addiction and gaming disorders separately. A random-effects model was employed to derive the pooled prevalence rate. Mixed-effects meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to examine the moderators of the between-study heterogeneity. Publication bias was tested using the Egger's regression test and funnel plot. Only seven out of the 11 Southeast Asian countries were represented in the literature. All except for two of the included studies were cross-sectional in nature. The findings revealed a pooled prevalence rate of 20.0% (95% confidence interval: 14.5%-27.0%) and 10.1% (95% confidence interval: 7.3%-13.8%) for Internet addiction and gaming disorders respectively. Mean age and study population were significant moderators of the between-study heterogeneity in the prevalence rates of gaming disorders such that samples involving older participants showed higher prevalence rate than those involving younger individuals. Country of study was found to be significant moderator of the between-heterogeneity for both Internet addiction and gaming disorders, however the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the small and unbalanced sample sizes. There was no significant publication bias. Such epidemiology research should be extended to the Southeast Asian countries that have not been studied or are under-studied. Given that the prevalence rates appear to be higher in Southeast Asia than in other world regions, future research should also explore the factors behind these inter-regional differences. Further longitudinal studies should also be conducted to examine the trajectories of such disorders.
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