The present study aimed to investigate the status of internet addiction and its related factors among the medical, dental, and pharmaceutical students at the Self-governing Education Incubator of Kermanshah, Iran. The results of the present study demonstrated that 31.2% and 25% of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were minimally and severely addicted to the internet, respectively. Moreover, 43.8% were at risk of internet addiction. The high prevalence of Internet addiction revealed in the present study was justified by Young, 2004, who said that university students have much unstructured time. They always look for doing communication through the Internet and use the Internet to leave university sources of stress from exams and studying . In a study done by Lashgarara et al. (2011), 34% of students were addicted to the internet . Similarly, the results of the study conducted by Debata et al. (2018) revealed that there was a 67-percent prevalence of internet addiction among the medical and engineering students at universities based in Bengaluru. Likewise, Dhok et al. (2016) reported that the rate of internet addiction among medical students in Aurangabad, India, was reasonable (53.8%), moderate (31.5%), and high (14.6%) . These findings were consistent with the results of the present study. The researchers pointed out that the excessive use of the internet decreased the mental health of students. They also found out that the excessive use of the internet led to traumatic and psychological problems. The observed differences in the prevalence of Internet addiction in the aforementioned studies even in studies conducted in the same country could be attributed to the application of various assessment instruments, cutoffs, and the differences in the cultural and social contexts.
The results of the present study revealed that there was no significant difference between male and female students in terms of internet addiction, and the mean score of internet addiction in male students was higher than that of female students. In this study, it found out that male students were to be given priority over female students regarding the prevention of internet addiction disorders. In terms of the mean score of male students’ internet addiction, the results of the present study were consistent with the results of studies conducted by Ahangarzadeh Rezaei and Moradi. , Vahidi far et al. , Mohammadi et al. , Mohammad Khani and Zafarpanahi . However, the results of studies done by Alavi et al. , Orsal et al.  and Fonia et al. , in which girls’ rate of internet addiction has been reported higher than boys’, were inconsistent with the results of the present study. Male students seem to have more internet addiction than female students. It can argue that girls and boys equally use the existing facilities due to intellectual development and a change in views about gender. On the other hand, with the growing number of girls entering universities, they can become more familiar with technology and have a higher chance of using the internet. In fact, in line with the findings of other studies, the present research revealed that men were more exposed to internet addiction because of different social and environmental factors to which both genders are exposed. Accordingly, it seems that this finding can be regarded as an alert about the rise of this disorder among students, which requires better planning in this area on the part of university officials.
According to the results of the present study, there was a significant relationship between age and internet addiction, and the 21-25 age group was more exposed to internet addiction than other age groups, which indicates that the rate of internet addiction in young age groups is higher than other age groups, and this issue can attribute to the characteristics of this age group.
On the other hand, the results of the present study revealed that marital status and internet addiction were significantly related, and the singles were more addicted to the internet, which was concurrent with the results of studies performed by Nasrollahi et al.  and Ghamari et al. . However, this finding was inconsistent with the results of studies conducted by Salehi et al. , Kyani et al. . Not to mention, single students have more leisure time and the majority of them have no other jobs but studying whereas married students, considering, are in charge of the family and supporting their family members financially. Therefore, married students sometimes have to work in several places, and if they have the opportunity, their obsession with life expenses does not allow them to use the internet.
Besides, it showed that there was a significant relationship between internet addiction and field of study, and internet addiction was more prevalent among medical students than dental and pharmaceutical students, which might be due to the more significant number of medical students than other groups — similarly, Baradaran et al.  and Ahangarzadeh Rezaei and Moradi.  reported that internet addiction significantly correlated with the field of study and educational level. In other words, the use of the internet differs in students from different areas of research and levels of education.
In the present study, meaningful relationships found between the subjects’ internet addiction and academic term. The findings of the present study showed that students in the fifth, sixth and eighth terms and above had the highest degrees of internet addiction. It seems to be because higher-level students have to use more internet for research and homework.
Further, the results of the present study demonstrated that internet addiction and place of residence significantly correlated. In other words, the rate of internet addiction was higher among students who were living with their families. This study finding was consistent with the results of studies done by Vahabi et al. , Imani et al. , Salehi et al.  and KhatibZanjani et al. . It can express that, nowadays, access to the internet is possible everywhere, and students can use it on their cell phones and tablets everywhere in the city. Moreover, it seems that the possibility of internet addiction is equal for both groups living in dormitories or other modes of living.
Moreover, the results of the present study demonstrated that there was a significant relationship between internet addiction and how long students use the internet. In other words, the longer one uses the internet, the higher the likelihood of internet addiction will be. Among those who had mild or severe internet addiction, many of them used the internet from morning to evening. The primary goals of using the internet in the present study were downloading photos, video clips and music, chatting, and web surfing, which was consistent with the results of studies done by Vizeshfar et al. , Vahidi far et al. , Shayegh et al.  and Dargahi et al. . One of the critical criteria for identifying internet addicts is the time they devote to the internet. In other words, the more hours one spends on the internet, the higher the probability of his/her addiction to the internet will be. Therefore, universities should provide students with the proper culture to use the internet and fill their leisure time towards conducting research and gaining useful information, thereby avoiding wasting their precious time. Hence, provision of training on reducing internet usage in unnecessary situations is helpful.
The results of the present study revealed that there was no significant relationship between the central location of using the internet and internet addiction, and students living in student dormitories exposed to internet addiction. This finding was consistent with the results of studies conducted by Kormas et al. , Ceyhan et al. , Tsitsika et al. , and Siomoset al. .
The debate establishes that all individuals' lifestyles, including academics and students, present intertwined links with the Internet and social networks. They have made profound changes in different aspects of today's life. At present, students' community make-up youth and represents the majority of the youngsters in most of the countries worldwide. These students comprise the main groups of internet users, and they are a vital force in transforming the lives of today's people as well as human beings of the future. Therefore, both students and the Internet are transforming knowledge for themselves and the whole society. In the future, they will change and transfer knowledge even faster, and in this fast-paced and massive transformation process, students also shape and develop their lives and identities. Accordingly, the application of measures and Internet use, which can use a positive image in community development, is essential.