Original Article | Volume 17 Number 3: 0 | 14 Aug 2022

Prevalence of smartphone addiction and its associated factors among pre-clinical medical and dental students in a public university Malaysia

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Smartphone addiction is becoming a global concern affecting every part of society, including healthcare professionals. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of risk of smartphone addiction and its associated factors among medical and dental students in a public university in Malaysia.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among pre-clinical medical and dental students using convenience sampling. Questions regarding sociodemographic profile and responses to the Smartphone Addiction Scale Short Version (SAS-SV) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Score questionnaire (DASS-21) were collected. Multiple logistic regression testing was used to analyse the factors associated with smartphone addiction.
Results: We invited 409 pre-clinical medical and dental students to participate voluntarily, resulting in a response rate of 80.2%. The prevalence of high-risk smartphone addiction among the participants was 47.9%. Male participants, participants who used smartphones mainly for social media, and participants with depressive symptoms were more likely to have a high risk of smartphone addiction. Medical students, participants who spent less than 3 hours per day on a smartphone, and participants who used smartphones for education-related activities were less likely to have a high risk of smartphone addiction.
Conclusion: Smartphone addiction prevalence among pre-clinical medical and dental students was high. Therefore, the authorities should overcome this problem by implementing early measures.

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