A study to evaluate pattern and purpose of smartphone usage and its dependence among medical students of government medical college in northern India
Keywords:Smart Phone Usage, Dependence, Medical Students
Background: Smartphone usage has become increasingly popular in recent decade. Though it’s of great utility in many aspects, excessive usage among youth has shown increased restlessness, careless lifestyles and greater susceptibility to stress. Aim & Objective: To assess the pattern and purpose of smartphone usage and its dependence among medical students. Methods & Material: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among 363 MBBS students of 1st, IInd and IIIrd professional year between October 2018 to December 2018 at a government medical college. A 20-item self-administrated questionnaire, focusing on purpose and pattern of use of smart phone and its dependence was filled by all the students. Data was collected, entered and analysed using SPSS Software. Result: Among 363 students, 53% participants were males and rest were females. 80% students were using smartphone for more than 2 years, while 60% were having daily usage of more than 3 hours. Significant association between severity of smartphone dependence and variables like MBBS professional year, daily phone call made and received, daily SMS received, daily WhatsApp message sent and received were observed. Dependence was mild in 8.8% of the students; Moderate in 72.2% while 19% were suffering from severe smartphone dependence. Conclusion: Smart phone dependence is an established and emerging psychological issue which needs attention and intervention. It is of serious concern that all medical students were suffering from smartphone dependence with varying grades of severity. Increased awareness regarding the harmful effects of smartphone addiction is the need of hour.
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