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Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2023, 74(1): 83-91

Cyberchondria among information technology professionals of Bhubaneswar by using cyberchondria severity scale (CSS-15)
[Cyberchondria among information technology professionals of Bhubaneswar by using cyberchondria severity scale (CSS-15)]

Dharmashree Satyarup, Sailaja Panda, Ramesh Nagarajappa, Upasana Mohapatra

ABSTRACT
Background. Internet can act as an excellent resource for gaining valuable health related information. However, excessive online research and investigation about health-related issues may impose a negative impact. The term cyberchondria is used to describe a clinical condition in which frequent internet searches for health-related information leads to exaggerated anxieties about physical well-being.
Objectives. To determine the prevalence of cyberchondria and associated factors among the information technology professionals of Bhubaneswar in India.
Materials and methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 243 software professionals in Bhubaneswar using a previously validated Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS-15) questionnaire. Descriptive statistics in terms of number, percentage, mean and standard deviation were presented. Independent t-test and one-way analysis of variance was applied to compare the cyberchondria score between two and more than two independent variables respectively. 
Results. From 243 individuals 130 (53.5%) were males and 113 (46.5%) were females with mean age 29.82±6.67 years.
The prevalence of cyberchondria severity was found to be 46.5%. The mean cyberchondria score of all study subjects was 43.80±10.62. It was significantly higher among those who spend more than 1 hour in the internet during night, feel fear and anxiety in visiting the doctor or dentist, interested in gaining the health-related information from other resources and agreed that gaining health related information has increased after COVID-19 pandemic (p˂0.05).
Conclusion. Cyberchondria is a growing issue with regard to mental health in developing countries and has the ability to cause anxiety and distress. Appropriate actions must be taken to prevent it on a societal level.

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