COVID-19 pandemic impacted internet use and anxiety among general public during COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan; Community Health Sciences; Paediatrics and Child Health


Objective: To determine the association between internet use and anxiety among people during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic.
Method: The cross-sectional study was conducted across Pakistan from January 14 to February 21, 2021, which was the active phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic in Pakistan. The participants were aged at least 13 years having internet access regardless of gender or their location across Pakistan. The anonymous web-based survey was conducted using a questionnaire generated on Google Forms and disseminated through various social media platforms and WhatsApp groups. Anxiety symptoms were screened using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21, while the Young Internet Addiction Test was used to evaluate symptoms of internet addiction. Data was analysed using STATA 16.
Results: Of the 1,145 subjects, 686(60%) were females and 459(40%) were males. A total of 257(22.5%) participants were found to have extremely severe anxiety and internet usage pattern was significantly associated with the level of anxiety (p<0.05). Age, gender, social class and marital status were not significantly different (p>0.05), while family income and area of living were significantly different (p<0.05) in terms of anxiety levels. The odd of addictive internet use was 10.2 (95% confidence interval: 5.7-18.5) times greater in extreme anxiety individuals compared to individuals having no anxiety after controlling for other sociodemographic, health-related, behavioural and environmental factors during the pandemic.
Conclusion: A significant association of anxiety was found with internet addiction during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.