Introduction: In recent years, there has been increasing concern regarding problematic use of mobile phones, and accordingly, it has been publicized extensively as an emerging social problem. Objective: The aim of the study was to assess mobile phone dependence among undergraduate medical students of the Nanded city. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students of a Government Medical college, Nanded, Maharashtra, during November to December 2016. All the 348 students in the college were enrolled in the study. A predesigned Test of Mobile Phone Dependence (TMD Brief) developed by Chóliz et al was used for collection of information. The participants scoring ≥ 50%, that is, a score of ≥ 30 were considered as mobile dependent. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 20 and Graph Pad Prism. Results: Out of 348 participants, data were collected from 251 students, and 206 (82.1%) students were found to be dependent on the mobile phone. In total, 137 (85.1%) students in the age group of 17–20 years were mobile phone dependent. Most of the mobile phone dependents were females 99 (83.9%) than males, that is, 107 (80.5%). Out of 206 mobile-phone-dependent students, majority 77 (90.6%) were from the first year. The chi square test showed that the mobile phone dependence was significantly dependent on the academic year (X2=6.82, P=0.033). The binary logistic regression also proved first year as an independent risk factor for mobile dependence compared to second and third years. Conclusions: A total of 82.1% undergraduate medical students were mobile phone dependent. Health education about the use of mobile phone is necessary in the first year.
Keywords: Mobile phone dependence, TMD brief, undergraduate medical students
|How to cite this article:
Domple VK, Wadde SK, Gattani P L. Mobile phone dependence among undergraduate medical students in Nanded city. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:27-30
|How to cite this URL:
Domple VK, Wadde SK, Gattani P L. Mobile phone dependence among undergraduate medical students in Nanded city. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Jul 15];10:27-30. Available from: https://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/1/27/205537
The most dominant type of information and communication technology is the mobile phone, the use of which in the past few years, due to social impact, has grown substantially. Smartphones are based on the Internet and have a wide range of functions. In addition to making phone calls, users are able to play games, chat with friends, use messenger system, access web services (e.g., blogs, homepages, and social networks), and search for information. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from zero to 7 billion, thus penetrating and spreading their tentacles in every strata of the society. In recent years, there has been increasing concern regarding problematic use of mobile phones, and accordingly, it has been publicized extensively as an emerging social problem.
According to the psychiatrist, cell phone dependence can be considered as a new diagnostic entity as it has properties of excessive use, withdrawal, tolerance, and negative repercussions. Sunthlia et al., observed the only 23% undergraduate medical students referred to some educational sites (newspaper, medical sites, general knowledge websites, current affairs magazines, etc.) on their cell phones and rest 77% respondents used it as an entertainment tool mainly, spending time on facebook, adult sites, movies, downloading music, YouTube, and sport websites. Thomée et al., concluded in their prospective cohort study that high frequency of mobile phone use at baseline was a risk factor for reporting sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression for the men and women at 1-year follow-up. De-Sola Gutiérrez J et al., showed in their review comorbidities reported include sleep affectations, anxiety, stress (and depression, to a lesser extent), and consumption of substances, such as alcohol or tobacco, particularly in adolescents.
In view of above, it was decided to undertake a study with an objective to assess mobile phone dependence among undergraduate medical students.
|Material and Methods|
The present cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students of a Government Medical college, Nanded, Maharashtra for mobile phone dependence during November to December 2016, which was approved by Institutional Ethics Committee. The study participants were briefed regarding the purpose of study and were asked to participate voluntarily. It was decided to exclude those who were not using mobile phone, but none was found without use of mobile phone. All the queries raised by the students were answered by the investigator before actual data collection. All the 348 students studying in the college were enrolled in the study. A predesigned Test of Mobile Phone Dependence (TMD Brief) consisting of total 12 questions about abstinence, abuse and interference with other activities, tolerance and lack of control, developed by Chóliz et al., was used for collection of information. Socio-demographic information such as age, sex, and academic year of study was also asked to be filled in the proforma. Each item (question) in TMD brief was coded by the Likert-type scale as never-1, rarely-2, sometimes-3, often-4, and frequently-5. Traditional Likert’s scale items were coded as strongly disagree-1, disagree-2, neutral-3, agree-4, and strongly agree-5. Therefore, the minimum and maximum score of TMD brief was 12 and 60, respectively. The participants scoring ≥50%, that is, score of ≥ 30, were considered as mobile dependent. The data was entered in the Microsoft Excel. To analyze the data, statistical software SPSS Version 20 was used for chi-square test, binary logistics regression, and Graph pad Prism Version 5 for tests of normality.
Out of 348 participants, data were collected from 251 students only and remaining students were absent on the day of data collection (the response rate was 72.12%). Of these 251 students, 206(82.1%) students were dependent on the mobile phone (scored in the range of 30–60 score of TMD brief questionnaire), whereas remaining 45(17.9%) were not dependent on the mobile phone (scored in the range of 12–29 score). Their age ranged from 17 years to 24 years with mean of 19.88±1.47 years. The KS normality test and D’Agostino and Pearson omnibus normality test showed that the total score of TMD brief questionnaire was normally distributed but age was not. In total, 137 students (85.1%) in the age group of 17–20 years were mobile phone dependent as compared to the age group 21–24 years, that is, 69(76.7%). The chi square test showed no significant association between age group and mobile phone dependence (X2=2.786, P=0.095). Most of females, 99 (83.9%), were mobile phone dependent as compared to males, that is, 107 (80.5%). The association between sex and mobile phone dependence was not statistically significant (X2=0.505, P = 0.477). Out of 206 mobile-phone-dependent students, 77 (90.6%) were from the first year followed by 67(79.8%) and 62(75.6%) from the second year and third year, respectively. The chi square test showed that the mobile phone dependence was significantly associated with the academic year (X2=6.82, P=0.033) [Table 1].
|Table 1: Bivariate analysis of undergraduate medical students for mobile phone dependence
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The binary logistic regression for predictors of mobile phone dependence by using the Enter method was applied. The dependent variable was mobile phone dependence/non-dependence, and the independent variables were age, sex, and academic year. Females (99[83.9%]) and first year (77[90.6%]) were considered the risk factors and taken as the reference category. It showed that the odds ratio (OR) for age was 1.152 (95% CI 0.777–1.709), which was not statistically significant (P=0.482) to be as an independent risk factor. The OR for sex was 0.866(95% CI 0.434–1.725) and was not statistically significant (P=0.682) as an independent risk factor. The OR for the second year was 0.370 (95% CI 0.142–0.962) and was statistically significant (P=0.041), whereas the OR for the third year was 0.223 with 95% CI as 0.55–0.913 and it was also statistically significant (P=0.037) [Table 2].
|Table 2: Binary Logistic regression to predict the risk factor for mobile phone dependence
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The present cross-sectional study was conducted to assess mobile phone dependence among undergraduate medical students. It was found that 82.1% students were dependent on the mobile phone. On the contrary, Mittal et al., observed that dependency on the cell phone was 11% among very frequent users (average call duration per day was >120 minutes). Davey et al., in their systematic review and meta-analysis reported that the smartphone addiction among Indian teens ranged from 39% to 44% as per fixed effects calculated, whereas Sunthlia et al., observed that about 9% students had an issue of “problem mobile phone overuse.”
The present study showed that females were dependent on smartphones more than males; in addition, similar findings by Mok et al., reported that females exhibited a higher level of smartphone addiction than males. The present study showed no statistically significant association between age and sex with mobile phone dependence and similar findings were revealed by Alosaimi et al., First year students were more dependent than the second year and third year students. These findings were contrary to Alosaimi et al., who found that among university students of Saudi Arabia (8.3% students from medicine), the mean score of problematic use of mobile phone (PUMP) scale was statistically significant in higher academic year (sixth and seventh year) than lower academic year (fourth and fifth year).
The age, sex, and academic year were three independent variables, and mobile phone dependence/non-dependence was used as the dependent variable in binary logistic regression by considering females and the first year as a risk factor based on bivariate analysis. Only academic year was found as an independent risk factor for mobile dependence, whereas age and sex were not. The first academic year was found to be a significant risk factor for mobile dependence as compared to the second and third years. The regression model was able to predict 206/251=82.1% of mobile phone dependence and was unable to predict mobile phone non-dependence [Table 3].
|Table 3: Classification table of prediction of risk factor
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The contrary findings by other authors might be due to the use of different scales in their studies such as self-designed instrument by Mittal et al., pretested questionnaire by Sunthlia et al., electronic self-administered questionnaire and PUMP scale by Alosaimi et al., and the smartphone addiction scale by Choi et al., and Mok et al.,
The limitations of study were chances to show dependent person might be non-dependent on TMD brief questionnaire. If the cut off criteria of TMD brief questionnaire score was changed from 50% score, then results of mobile phone dependence/non-dependence might be changed. We considered only three variables viz. age, sex, and academic year, and therefore, a further study is necessary by taking into account other related variables.
In conclusion, 82.1% undergraduate medical students were mobile phone dependent. Health education about the use of mobile phone is necessary in the first year.
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Conflicts of Interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]