Problematic Internet Use and Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Association among Adult Patients with Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: An Exploratory ResearchAuthor(s): Mostafa O. Shahin, Yomna Alaa Mecdad, Dina Y. Afifi and Doaa R. Ayoub*
Background: Problematic internet use, internet addiction, and Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) levels are tremendously rising at the moment, while abundant studies reported the high prevalence of Internet Addiction among adolescents; only a few studies investigated their prevalence among adults with anxiety disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The objective of this exploratory research was to evaluate the levels of internet addiction and FoMO among patients with anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder and to investigate the association between internet addiction and FoMO in both disorders.
Methods: Forty patients with anxiety disorders and, OCD and 40 matched controls were assessed by Internet Addiction Test (IAT), FoMO scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).
Results: Internet addiction test mean scores were rather comparable between groups with no statistically significant difference (p=0.793). FoMO mean scores were significantly higher in the anxiety disorders group (p=0.017). There was a positive significant correlation between IAT and FoMO in both anxiety disorders and OCD subgroups (p=0.0001, p=0.037) respectively. Internet addiction and FoMO showed a significant positive correlation in both subgroups which were also more significant in anxiety disorders (p=0.0001).
Conclusion: Unexpectedly Internet Addiction showed rather similar levels between groups. FoMO severity was high, particularly in anxiety disorders. Additionally, Internet addiction and FoMO were positively correlated in anxiety disorders and OCD.