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Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function.

Reed P, Vile R, Osborne LA, Romano M, Truzoli R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation.This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities.It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation. The current study surveyed 505 participants online, and asked about their levels of problematic internet usage (Internet Addiction Test), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales), social isolation (UCLA Loneliness Questionnaire), sleep problems (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and their current health - General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Immune Function Questionnaire. The results demonstrated that around 30% of the sample displayed mild or worse levels of internet addiction, as measured by the IAT. Although there were differences in the purposes for which males and females used the internet, there were no differences in terms of levels of problematic usage between genders. The internet problems were strongly related to all of the other psychological variables such as depression, anxiety, social-isolation, and sleep problems. Internet addiction was also associated with reduced self-reported immune function, but not with the measure of general health (GHQ-28). This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities. It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Semi-partial correlations between depression (HADS), anxiety (HADS), sleep (PSQI), loneliness (UCLA), hours online, and internet problems (IAT), and the two symptom scores (GHQ(S) and IFQ).
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pone.0134538.g002: Semi-partial correlations between depression (HADS), anxiety (HADS), sleep (PSQI), loneliness (UCLA), hours online, and internet problems (IAT), and the two symptom scores (GHQ(S) and IFQ).

Mentions: To further explore the nature of the relationships between the variables, the semi-partial correlations between the individual predictors (i.e. depression, anxiety, sleep, loneliness, hours online, and internet problems) and the two symptom scores (GHQ-S and IFQ) were calculated separately. The semi-partial correlations were conducted between each predictor variable and the two illness-related variables using all of the other predictor variables as co-variates. This allows the unique relationship between two variables to be observed in the absence of mediating effect of any other variables, and these values can be seen in Fig 2 for the two illness-related variables. These data show a similar pattern of relationship between the predictors and symptoms for both the GHQ-S and the IFQ; in that, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, all had statistically significant relationships with both outcomes when the impact of the other variables were controlled. However, whereas internet problems (IAT) significantly predicted the immune-related symptoms (IFQ), this was not statistically significantly related to the GHQ(S) score.


Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function.

Reed P, Vile R, Osborne LA, Romano M, Truzoli R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Semi-partial correlations between depression (HADS), anxiety (HADS), sleep (PSQI), loneliness (UCLA), hours online, and internet problems (IAT), and the two symptom scores (GHQ(S) and IFQ).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526519&req=5

pone.0134538.g002: Semi-partial correlations between depression (HADS), anxiety (HADS), sleep (PSQI), loneliness (UCLA), hours online, and internet problems (IAT), and the two symptom scores (GHQ(S) and IFQ).
Mentions: To further explore the nature of the relationships between the variables, the semi-partial correlations between the individual predictors (i.e. depression, anxiety, sleep, loneliness, hours online, and internet problems) and the two symptom scores (GHQ-S and IFQ) were calculated separately. The semi-partial correlations were conducted between each predictor variable and the two illness-related variables using all of the other predictor variables as co-variates. This allows the unique relationship between two variables to be observed in the absence of mediating effect of any other variables, and these values can be seen in Fig 2 for the two illness-related variables. These data show a similar pattern of relationship between the predictors and symptoms for both the GHQ-S and the IFQ; in that, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, all had statistically significant relationships with both outcomes when the impact of the other variables were controlled. However, whereas internet problems (IAT) significantly predicted the immune-related symptoms (IFQ), this was not statistically significantly related to the GHQ(S) score.

Bottom Line: Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation.This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities.It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation. The current study surveyed 505 participants online, and asked about their levels of problematic internet usage (Internet Addiction Test), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales), social isolation (UCLA Loneliness Questionnaire), sleep problems (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and their current health - General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Immune Function Questionnaire. The results demonstrated that around 30% of the sample displayed mild or worse levels of internet addiction, as measured by the IAT. Although there were differences in the purposes for which males and females used the internet, there were no differences in terms of levels of problematic usage between genders. The internet problems were strongly related to all of the other psychological variables such as depression, anxiety, social-isolation, and sleep problems. Internet addiction was also associated with reduced self-reported immune function, but not with the measure of general health (GHQ-28). This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities. It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus