Caffeine dependence among medical interns of a tertiary teaching hospital

Divya Rajaseharan, J. E. Jeffin Shanu, Shrinithi Thulasiraman


Background: Consumption of caffeine in adequate quantities has no adverse effects, but prolonged consumption makes it addictive. Medical students especially Interns due to their long working hours often indulge in excessive caffeine consumption. Objectives were to assess the knowledge of caffeine addiction among the medical interns, to assess the pattern of caffeine dependence among them and to calculate the caffeine dependence among them.  

Methods: It is a cross sectional descriptive study conducted among 124 medical interns of Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre using a pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire.

Results: High level of knowledge was found in 47 (37.90%) participants, moderate level in 34 (27.41%) participants and low level of knowledge was found in 47 (34.67%) participants. The most preferred beverage was coffee 70 (56.45%) persons and second was tea 32 (25.80%). Majority of the study population 110 (88.7%) started consuming caffeinated products only after 5 years of age. Head ache 51 (41.12%) and exam durations 50 (40.32%) were common occasions of high caffeine intake. Among the study population, major group had either no 99 (79.83%) or just thirst 10 (8.06%) as withdrawal symptoms. Only 19.35% of them had caffeine dependence.  

Conclusions: Though the dependence level is low, the magnitude of the problem is big and self-awareness of this dreadful habit is necessary. Thus, prompt recognition of symptoms of dependence, tolerance and intoxication is necessary to avoid them falling a prey to this habit in the future.


Caffeine, Knowledge, Dependence, Tolerance, Withdrawal, Intoxication

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