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Pattern of mobile phone usage and its effects on psychological health, sleep, and academic performance in students of a medical university

Naveenta Gupta, Sonia Garg, Khushdeep Arora.

Background: Mobile phones have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in young generation. Although these are convenient and useful, teenagers are becoming more and more dependent on them.

Aims and Objective: This study was designed to assess the mobile phone usage pattern and its negative effects on psychological health, sleep, and academic performance in students of a medical university.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was conducted on a total of 1,000 medical students aged between 17 and 24 years who were using mobile phone for at least 1 year. They were requested to fill a specially designed, self-administrated, pretested, questionnaire that comprised details of their frequency and pattern of using mobile phone and its effects on their psychological health, sleep-related behavioral issues, and academic performance. The data collected were statistically analyzed.

Result: Among the total 1,000 students, all of them possessed their own mobile phone, with about 76.4% students having smart phones. Major purpose of using the phone was for communication, coordination of activities, and in emergency situations, while others were also using it for downloading games, music, videos, and for style. Nighttime usage of mobile phone was highly significantly (p < 0.0001) associated with difficulty in waking up, waking time tiredness, decline in study habits, difficulty in concentration, increase in missed classes, and going late for classes. Total time spent on mobile phones was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with waking time tiredness and difficulty in waking up and highly significantly (p < 0.001) with decline in study habits, increase in missed classes, and going late for classes.

Conclusion: Besides the positive role of mobile phones in our daily lives, its overuse presents negative impact on psychological health, sleep, and academic performance of students. Hence, it is important to guide the students regarding efficient, safe, purposeful usage, and negative effects of mobile phones on health and environment.

Key words: Mobile Phone; Psychological Health; Sleep; Academic Performance

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