Zaman M, Babar MS, Babar M, Sabir F, Ashraf F, Tahir MJ, Ullah I, Griffiths MD, Lin CY, Pakpour AH
Ann Med Surg (Lond) 78 (-) 103641 [2022-06-00; online 2022-04-20]
Gaming addiction has become a topic of increasing research interest worldwide but little research has been carried out in Pakistan. The present study assessed the prevalence of gaming addiction among a Pakistani sample of adults in the general population. It also explored the effects of online gaming addiction upon sleep quality. A cross-sectional survey was carried out during a national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan. Using a convenience sampling technique, an online survey comprising demographic information, the Game Addiction Scale (GAS), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was completed by 618 participants (67.5% male) aged 18-56 years (M = 24.53 years, SD = ±5.016). Out of 618 participants, 57.0% (n=352) played online games. Among gamers, 12.5% (n = 44) were classed as addicted to the gaming based on GAS scores. Compared to those not addicted to gaming, participants with gaming addiction had significantly poorer subjective sleep quality, higher sleep disturbance, lesser sleep duration, and higher daytime dysfunction. Gaming addiction was also more prevalent among males compared to females. Gaming addiction among the Pakistani general population is significantly associated with poor sleep quality. This problem needs to be addressed at both individual and societal levels to avoid adverse long-term health impacts.