Exploratory study of mental health among gamers

Published: 24 April 2020| Version 4 | DOI: 10.17632/c53rh2h435.4
Gaming Research


Gaming has increasingly become a part of life in Africa. Currently, no data on gaming disorders or their association with mental disorders exist for African countries. This exploratory study investigates (1) the prevalence of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety and depression among African gamers based in Gabon and Tunisia and (2) the association between these conditions and gamer types (i.e., non-problematic, engaged, problematic and addicted). The questionnaire could only be completed once by participants with the same email address, and duplicates and incomplete forms were discarded. Responses were collected in multiple sites based in nine African countries between November 2015 and June 2017 (Rwanda, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast and South Africa). Because of local restrictions related to the expiration of some ethical certificates, this dataset currently provides aggregate data from Gabon and Tunisia. Data contained aggregate information describing epidemiology of self-reported measures of insomnia (with the Insomnia Severity Index), excessive daytime sleepiness (with Epworth Sleepiness Scale), anxiety (with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-A), depression (Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale-D) and gaming disorder (with game addiction scale short form) between gamers in Tunisia and Gabon. The participants who formed this convenience sample were contacted by email. The online questionnaire included a consent form on the second page, following a description of the study in French and English. Consent was required to participate in this project. The average time to answer all questions was 20 minutes. Data available are as follow: mean hours of gaming per week, period from when the participant considered him or herself a gamer, type of device used for gaming purposes, age, sex, and category of gamers. The present research is a pilot investigation which documents sleep disorders, anxiety and depression among an African sample with a focus on gamers. It should be replicated with the general population with a longitudinal cohort study to understand the global picture of gaming disorder. Similarly, more attention should be brought to the sleep health of African populations. More research on gaming addiction needs to be performed in low- and middle-income countries where little is known about internet gaming disorder.



Epidemiology, Depression, Anxiety, Behavioral Psychology, Addictive Disorder, Cognitive Neuroscience, Sleep Medicine