The Impact of Physical Distancing and Associated Factors Towards Internet Addiction Among Adults in Indonesia During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Nationwide Web-Based Study

Kristiana Siste, Enjeline Hanafi, Lee Thung Sen, Hans Christian, Adrian, Levina Putri Siswidiani, Albert Prabowo Limawan, Belinda Julivia Murtani, Christiany Suwartono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


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 long-term 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number580977
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2020


  • Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • Indonesia
  • internet addiction
  • physical distancing
  • psychopathology
  • sleep quality


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