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Cross-sectional study of Facebook addiction in a sample of Nepalese population

Citation

Atreya, Alok; Nepal, Samata; Thapa, Prakash (2020), Cross-sectional study of Facebook addiction in a sample of Nepalese population, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.83bk3j9pv

Abstract

Background: Facebook addiction is said to occur when an individual spends an excessive amount of time on Facebook, disrupting one’s daily activities and social life. The present study aimed to find out the level of Facebook addiction in the Nepalese context and briefly discuss the crimes associated with its unintended use.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine of Lumbini Medical College. The study instrument was the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale typed into a Google Form and sent randomly to Facebook contacts of the authors. The responses were downloaded in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 16.

Results: The study consisted of 103 Nepalese participants, of which 54 (52.42%) were males and 49 females (47.58%). There were 11 participants (10.68%) who had more than one Facebook account. When different approaches were applied it was observed that 8.73% (n=9) to 39.80% (n=41) were addicted to Facebook.

Conclusion: When used properly Facebook has its own advantages. Excessive use is linked with health hazards including addiction and dependency. Students who engage more on Facebook will have less time studying leading to poor academic performance. People need to be made aware of misuse of Facebook and its link with criminal activities.

Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Department of Forensic Medicine of Lumbini Medical College after obtaining ethical approval from the Institutional Review Committee vide the letter IRC-LMC 01-G/019.

The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS) is a questionnaire that comprises of six core features of addiction: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse.1 Each of the six-core features consists of three questions, making a total of 18 questions. The final BFAS retained one question for each core element of addiction. Only the scores for questions 1, 5, 7, 11, 13 and 16 determine the level of Facebook addiction. Each question is scored on a 5-point Likert scale using anchors of 1: Very rarely and 5: Very often. Higher scores indicate greater Facebook addiction.

Participants scoring 4 (often) or 5 (very often) in four out of six questions were considered to be addicted to Facebook. BASF has put forth two scoring schemes to determine Facebook addiction. As per a polythetic scoring scheme, Facebook addiction was determined by a liberal approach, where a score of 3 or more was observed in at least four of six items; whereas using a conservative approach, a score of 3 or above in all six items determined Facebook addiction by a monothetic scoring scheme.

Considering that there are around 1800 people in Lumbini Medical College including students, faculties and staffs, the sample size was calculated using the formula for finite population: n = N * X / (X+(N-1)); taking a confidence level of 95% (Z-score=1.96) and margin of error of 10%, the sample size was calculated to be 92.

The BAFS was typed into a Google Form and reviewed by all the authors for any mistakes which was then corrected.  The link was then shared among the medical and nursing students, doctors, nurses and other health care staffs working at Lumbini Medical College Teaching Hospital (LMCTH) through Facebook messenger, WhatsApp and Viber with a request to share the link among their friends or colleagues who were enrolled with LMCTH and were Nepalese citizens (convenient random sampling). The first part of the questionnaire consisted a statement where the participants were explained that no financial or material gifts will be provided to complete the questionnaire. The survey did not collect any identifying information of any of the participants and the responses were anonymous. The second part of the questionnaire was a section on consent where the participants had an option to choose if they voluntarily consented to participate or didn’t consent. The third part of the questionnaire was accessible only to those participants who consented in the second part. The survey didn’t continue for the participants who didn’t consent and the incomplete form submitted. The link was made active on 27 July, 2019. On August 30, 2019 a total of 108 responses were received and the link was disabled from receiving further responses. There were five responses which were incomplete so those were excluded from the study. The obtained responses were downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, which was then exported into SPSS v16 for analysis. Descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation were used to determine demographic characteristics of the respondents and Facebook addiction.

References:

1. Andreassen CS, Torsheim T, Brunborg GS, Pallensen S. Development of a facebook addiction scale. Psychol Rep. 2012;110:501-17.