Prevalence of problematic online gaming among undergraduate medical students and its relation to well-being, self-esteem and depressive mood in Goa, India

Abhishek U. Bicholkar, Amit Dias, Von Mascarenhas


Background: Online video games are one of the most popular recreational activities irrespective of age, gender and culture. Gaming disorder has been recently included in the 11th Revision of the international classification of diseases (ICD-11). Thus online video game addiction among people is a serious mental health issue and unfortunately, research on this addiction is still in its infancy. Thus the present study examines the prevalence of problematic online gaming among undergraduate medical students and its association with demographic variables, and health-related measures like well-being, self-esteem and depressive mood.

Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted among the undergraduate students of Goa medical college using online survey method. Problematic online gaming was assessed using the problematic online gaming questionnaire short form (POGQ-SF). Additionally, well-being was assessed using the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS), self-esteem was assessed using Rosenberg’s self- esteem scale (RSES) and depressive mood was assessed using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9).

Results: According to POGQ-SF, 8% of the study participants showed problematic online gaming. It was significantly associated with sex of the study participants, frequency of online gaming, duration of internet use per day and duration of a gaming session.

Conclusions: Playing online games is a widespread activity among undergraduate medical students and a substantial proportion of these students exhibit addictive behaviours with regards to online gaming. Further research in terms of longitudinal studies involving larger samples of general population is needed to throw light on causal relationship between problematic online gaming and related factors.


Problematic online gaming, Well-being, Self-esteem, Depressive mood

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