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Ind Psychiatry J. 2019 Jan-Jun;28(1):107-114. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_96_18. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Gaming disorder among medical college students from India: Exploring the pattern and correlates.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Community of Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India.
Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, Behavioral Addictions Clinic, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



In the extant literature, apart from few published case reports describing patients with severe form of gaming disorder (GD), there is a lack of studies describing the pattern and correlates of GD existing in the Indian settings. Thus, the present study aimed to explore the extent and pattern of gaming behavior in a sample of medical college students from India and explore its association with the sociodemographic, psychological (depressive symptoms), and Internet gaming characteristics.

Materials and Methods:

This Internet-based cross-sectional study was conducted as an online survey among 306 medical students by the Behavioral Addictions Clinic at a tertiary care teaching college in India. The severity of problematic gaming behavior and depressive symptoms was assessed using the Internet GD Scale-Short Form (IGDS9-SF) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information regarding sociodemographic and Internet gaming characteristics of the participants. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS software version 21.0, with two-tailed P < 0.05 taken as significant and P < 0.01 as highly significant results.


We identified 173 (55.6%) current gamers, with 11 (3.6%) Internet GD gamers based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5 criteria in the current study sample. A preference for multiplayer online gaming pattern (β =0.17, P = 0.005), spending greater amount of time in playing digital games (β = 0.53, P < 0.01), and higher PHQ-9 scores (β =0.25, P < 0.01**) representing greater depressive symptom severity were associated with statistically significantly greater scores on the IGDS9-SF, indicative of a higher risk for having GD.


GD is a cause of concern among medical students in India. There is an urgent need to create awareness about it among students and concerned authorities. Further, there is a need to develop effective screening and treatment strategies suited for our population. The risk factors identified in the current study can be utilized to screen those at high risk of developing the same.


Depression; Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form; gaming disorder; medical students; multiplayer online games

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