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Table of Contents   
ORIGINAL ARTICLE  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1805-1808
The effect of using mobile phone on medical students' mental focus in respond to knowledge questions


1 Student Research Committee, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
2 Department of Health Information Technology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

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Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2018
 

   Abstract 


Background: Today, using the mobile phone has grown widely. This massive growth captures the attention of researchers on biological effects of the mobile phone. Evidences have shown that the excessive use of mobile phone has negative impact on the physical and psychological health of users. Aims: The aim is to evaluate the effect of using mobile phones on the students' mental focus when they answer to general scientific questions, simultaneously in Ahvaz, Iran. Materials and Methods: In this practical study, a group of 60 students in the field of health information technology were participated. Participants were evaluated to verify the same level of information homogeneity and the ability of using a mobile phone. Therefore, the students were asked at the first step to respond to general information questions showed in computer monitor. Then, a message including 6–9 words by mobile phone was typed by the subjects while the typing time was registered. Next, they were asked to send a message while answering the questions showed on the monitor screen of the computers, simultaneously. At this step the difference between response accuracy to questions of the graphical test in two phases was analyzed. Results: The study results showed that the average scores of the correct response to graphical test, as typing a text on the mobile phone, was(26.8000) and the average scores of correct response to graphical test without typing a text on mobile phone was(30.2000). Moreover, the average scores when typing a text on mobile phone was 74.40 while the average scores for typing a text on the mobile phone and responding to graphics test, simultaneously was 194.12. Conclusions: The results showed that using the mobile phone has a negative impact on the selected students' performance to respond simultaneously to the general scientific questions.

Keywords: Mobile phone effects, mental focus, students' performance, sort massage service

How to cite this article:
Asgari Z, Jamshidnezhad A, Forghany F, Abdolahi G. The effect of using mobile phone on medical students' mental focus in respond to knowledge questions. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1805-8

How to cite this URL:
Asgari Z, Jamshidnezhad A, Forghany F, Abdolahi G. The effect of using mobile phone on medical students' mental focus in respond to knowledge questions. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 May 21];10:1805-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/6/1805/222724



   Introduction Top


Today, using the mobile phone has grown widely in society. This growth has captured the attention of researchers on biological effects of the mobile phone. Evidence have shown that excessive use of cell phone is associated with other consequences, including awake at night, engage in texting message as well as the emotional dependency that creates in users mind. These people believe that living without a cell phone is not possible. These findings support the negative impact of excessive use of mobile and its bad effect on the mental and physical health of cell phone users.[1]

Development of urbanization has caused the mobile phone as a comprehensive symbol of communication in all aspects of the current era. This property closes mobile phone to surrounding virtual community concept. Mental health of children and adolescents is one of the important aspects of psychological and sociological issues.[2] Many students in the lower grade of schools access to cell phones and use them in different ways. Hence, academic failure and a decrease in educational performance may occur as a result of excessive use of mobile phones by students.[2] In addition, many concerns about the harmful effects of waves associated with mobile phones raise in the global system due to the effects of the mobile phone on the mental health of the users. Baharara et al. in their study have warned about the detrimental impacts of electromagnetic fields of mobile phones on the brain and other tissues.[3]

Moreover, WHO confirmed that mobile phone users, suffering from brain tumors, on the same side of the head where is closer to mobile phone.[4] In addition, wireless interactions consume the brain glucose in the result of long-term use of mobile phones. At 50min of continuous talk with the mobile phone can change the brain cell activity in the area of the brain that is closer to the antenna and increase the glucose metabolism(cerebral power signal). The continuous use of mobile phone may lead to reduce learning that is induced by abnormalities in antioxidant enzyme activities.[5]

Brain imaging shows well that during activities such as reading, writing, speaking only certain parts of the brain work harder. It seems that these regions are the main responsible or in other words, these are the source of control and directing the intended activities.[6] Thoughts, emotions, feelings, illusions, trends, and human talents interact simultaneously with other modes of information processing, and at the same time, our general social and cultural knowledge develops evidence. Clear evidence in brain research show that there are important differences between the left and right human hemispheres.[7]

The control of human skill activities takes place in the subconscious mind. Moreover, cell phone conversation is an auditory action that needs to receive information through ears, mental processing and responding to content that has been heard. Many drivers use their mobile phone while driving.[7],[8] This means that individuals feel that they have the ability to perform two decision-making tasks simultaneously. Two tasks are the work in which operators are expected to do two things at the same time.[9] On the other hand, the processing capacity of the mind is limited, and in the case of entering different visual and auditory information, it will be out of its full power of processing. As a result, the rate of errors will increase in response to external stimulus. It is clear that the use of mobile phones distracting drivers. Use of mobile phone has been known as an incompatible and confounding factor in driving.[10] Redelmeier and Tibshiraniin a study in 1997 showed that the chances of an accident during a call with a mobile phone is more than 3.4times when the driver does not talk on a cell phone.[11]

Based on the above concept, the aim of this study was to assess the mental function and level of consciousness, when performing everyday tasks and using the cell phone.


   Materials and Methods Top


This analytical study was conducted in Ahvaz, Iran, in 2015–2016 to evaluate the effect of the simultaneous use of mobile phones by the health information technology(HIT) students.

A total of 60 HIT students were selected randomly according to krejcie-morgan-sample-size-table by purposive sampling method to evaluate the effect of using mobile phones.[12] Participants were evaluated to verify the same level of information homogeneity and the ability of using a mobile phone. Therefore, the students were asked at the first step to respond to general information questions showed in computer monitor. Then, the students were asked to type similar short message service regarding to daily students' activities for the purpose of typing speed test in the homogeneity evaluation. All participants used the smart mobile phones with similar usability in terms of hardware and software. In this study, a computer graphical environment was used to find the effect of using mobile phone on the respond to the scientific questions. Scientific questions were chosen from general and not difficult questions in the field of math, religious, history, and public information. The simply level of questions caused to deciding to correct answers without wasting time. As a result, delay on answering to questions was depending on disturb of focusing resulted from typing message by mobile phone.

The study was conducted in two phases: pretest and test. In pretest phase, the respond validity of questions without typing message as well as the message typing time on mobile phone was registered, separately. All participants typed similar messages in the process of pretest to evaluate the mobile phone using homogeneity of participants.

In the test phase, each student was obliged to type a message on mobile phone while responding to graphics test containing general scientific questions. The general questions were selected from the basic courses which passed by the participants. Moreover, the questions analysis confirmed that there was not a significant difference in the knowledge of participants to respond to the questions. As a result, they had similar knowledge to answer to the questions.

In the end, the correct answer scores to general questions of graphics test without typing message(pretest) with the correct answer to graphics test while typing text message on mobile phone(test) were analyzed according to the first hypothesis. Moreover, the results from typing time of a text message on a mobile phone alone(pretest) in comparison with the typing time of the text message and responding to graphics test simultaneously were analyzed.

Statistical analysis

To test the first hypothesis, a statistical analysis paired t- test was used. For this purpose, the mentioned statistical test was calculated between correct answers of students to graphics test questions without typing message on the mobile phone and typing a message simultaneously.


   Results Top


The results of paired t- test analysis are provided in tables.

[Table1] shows descriptive analysis of using the mobile phone and respond to questions by the students.
Table 1: Descriptive analysis of using the mobile phone and respond to questions

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The average scores of correct respond to graphical test, as typing a text on the mobile phone, was 26.8000 and the average scores of correct respond to graphical test without typing a text on mobile phone was30.2000. To evaluate the significance of the difference between the average of two test results, [Table2].
Table 2: T-test results comparing the using of mobile phone and respond the questions

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According to [Table2], there is a significant difference between the correctness of responding to graphics test questions without typing a text on the mobile phone and while typing a text on the phone.

The mentioned statistical test was calculated between the time of typing text on the mobile phone alone and the time of typing text on the mobile phone while responding to graphics test. The results of these calculations are provided in the output of [Table3].
Table 3: Descriptive analysis of the typing time by the mobile phone and responding to questions

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[Table3] show descriptive statistics, including the number, average, standard deviation, and an average of scores standard error. Average of the scores when they type a text on the mobile phone is 74.40 and an average of the scores when they type a text on the mobile phone and responding to graphics test, simultaneously is 194.12. The average of scores when typing a text on the mobile phone is 74.40 less than the average of scores when typing a text on the mobile phone and responding to graphics test, simultaneously is 194.12. To evaluate the significance of the difference between the averages of two test results, [Table4].
Table 4: T-test to compare the averages

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[Table4] show that there is a significant difference between the time of typing a text on mobile phone alone and the time of typing a text on mobile phone while answering to the graphics tests.


   Discussion Top


Comparison results between two phases of the test of response to knowledge questions showed that using mobile phones may disturb the selected students' mental focus to answer to knowledge questions. Confusing occurs when a human allocates the higher levels of mental processing to conversation task. In general, it is accepted that people are dependent on their abilities of perception and attention to achieve situational awareness.[12],[13] Epidemiological studies on the effects of using mobile phone with another job, showed that using mobile phone increased the risk of failure due to decline in mental function in humans.[8],[11]

All studies that have been done on the effects of mobile on human simultaneous activities, showed that talking on a cell phone, for example during study or driving, reduces mental focus to do the intended job due to the decline of mental function.[3],[9],[11] The study by Jeffrey et al. on children also, confirmed the achieved results in this study.[14] They showed that the learning performance of students was declined where they used the mobile phone during the lectures. The effect of mobile phone usage on the students' memory to remember the courses was around 62% less than the children who were not used the mobile phone in the class. Moreover, O'Neill et al.(2011) reported that mobile phone has more negative effect on children in comparison with the adults due to children's heads absorption.[15]


   Conclusions Top


In this study, the effect of using mobile phone on doing intellectual and scientific activities by students has been investigated. The negative effect of using mobile phones on the students' concentrate was appeared. As aresult, there was a significant difference between doing one thing alone, compared with doing two things simultaneously in the case of using mobile phone by the students. Therefore, the experimental study on the subjects in this research showed that when the students doing two things at the same time, a decrease in mental performance will be appear.

Limitations

Limitations of this research are as follows:

  • The study was carried out on a sample of students in the field of HIT which can be extendable to other fields
  • Students' focusing was studied by the answer to the general scientific questions displayed on the computer interface system.


Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Student research committee of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences to support of this research work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

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YaseminejadP, GolmohammadianM, YoosefiN. The study of the relationship between cell-phone use and general health in students. Knowl Res Appl Psychol 2012;13:60-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
FritzeK, WiessnerC, KusterN, SommerC, GassP, HermannDM, etal. Effect of global system for mobile communication microwave exposure on the genomic response of the rat brain. Neuroscience 1997;81:627-39.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.
BahararaJ, MoghimyA, MoosaviSS. Effect of cell phone radiation (940 MHz) on the learning and memory of balb/c mice. JArmaghan Danesh 2009;14:54-64.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
WHO 2010. Available from: http://www.iarc.fr.[Last accessed on 2015 May 24].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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BigdeliMR, RahnamaM. Early postnatal mobile phone(900 MHz) exposure affects superoxide and catalase enzyme activity in rat brain tissue. Modares J Med Sci Pathobiol 2013;15:11-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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MohammadimehrM. Studies of brain-based learning. JMil Med Fac Islam Repub Iran 2010;254-61.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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World Health Organization. Mobile Phone Use: AGrowing Problem of Driver Distraction. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2009.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
DresselJ, AtchleyP. Cellular phone use while driving: Amethodological checklist for investigating dual-task costs, Transportation Research PartF. Traffic Psychol Behav 2008;5:347-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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BridgerR. Introduction to Ergonomics. NewYork, NY: CRC; 2008. p.30-3.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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RedelmeierDA, TibshiraniRJ. Association between cellular-telephone calls and motor vehicle collisions. NEngl J Med 1997;336:453-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]    
12.
GilavandA, JamshidnezhadA. The Effect of noise in educational institutions on learning and academic achievement of elementary students in Ahvaz, South West of Iran. Int J Pediatr 2016;4:1453-63.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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GilavandA. Investigating the impact of environmental factors on learning and academic achievement of elementary students: Review. Int J Med Res Health Sci 2016;5:360-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
JeffreyHK, TitsworthS. The impact of mobile phone usage on student learning. Commun Educ 2013:62:233-52.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
O'Neill K, Teo AM C, Davis D, Henshaw D, Lamburn G. Mobile phone health risks: The case for action to protect children. 2011: Available online at: www.mobilewise.org. [Last accessed on 2016 Apr 28].  Back to cited text no. 15
    

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Correspondence Address:
Amir Jamshidnezhad
Department of Health Information Technology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ATMPH.ATMPH_689_16

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  [Table1], [Table2], [Table3], [Table4]



 

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