Frequency of Screen Time Exposure During COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on patients wellbeing in Saudi Arabia: A Questionnaire-Based Study
Nehal G. Almutairi, Norah A. Albdaya, Samar M. Alanazi, Najd M. Alanazi,
Rahaf H. Almutairi, Lina Z. Alshalan, Othillah M. Moazin, Saleh A. Algarni.
Background and Aims:
Ever since the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic, the usage of digital devices has increased, whether in the educational field, entertainment or for communication and social purposes. In our study, we aim to investigate the influence of digital devices usage in health-related problems during COVID-19 and its correlation to headache.
This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2021 to December 2021at of Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An electronic self-administered questionnaire distributed via student’s emails to assess the characteristics of headache.
384 students were recruited; the most common age group was 18-21 years old. Most of the students reported increased use of digital devices during the pandemic. Additionally, it revealed that 71% of the students reported experiencing a headache for the last year during lockdown period, and more than half (52.2%) of them reported an increase in the frequency of headaches which usually lasted for hours (71%) with a medium severity (75.4%). The commonest associated headache triggers were loud noises (61%), followed by difficulty concentrating (58.8%).
The pandemic had a general negative impact on patients’ health, and an increase in frequency of headaches due to increased exposure to screen time. Several risk factors for these negative results have been distinguished. It is therefore critical to establish long-term strategies to reduce severity and frequency of headache in order to improve the quality of life of patients.
Key words: Headache, COVID-19, Digital devices.