Menace of mobile phone overuse: an emerging public health concern
Keywords:Digitalized era, Educational tool, Problem mobile phone overuse
Background: Mobile phones have become indispensible objects of necessity in the rapidly developing economies like India. They are part and parcel of our lives in the rapidly evolving digitalized era. In this scenario, a study was conducted to find out how are mobile phones are being utilized by undergraduate medical students of a premier medical school IMS, BHU. The objectives of the study were to find out the pattern of mobile phone usage by the students; to assess its role as an educational tool and to explore the issue of ‘problem mobile phone overuse’; if any, in the students.
Methods:A pretested questionnaire was used to assess the response on various issues related to cell phone usage. 208 medical students out of total 309 from 3rd to 9th semester were the part of the study. For statistical analysis, data analysis was done by using Epi-info ver.7.
Results: Almost 40% respondents did not refer any educational sites on their cell phones. 9% respondents felt that they should cut down their time on cell phone but they can’t (problem mobile phone overuse). 59% respondents felt that cell phone affects their studies negatively to a certain extent. Only 5% respondents used their cell phones as a learning aid.
Conclusions:Cell phones do not seem to play a major role as far as their educational role is concerned rather it is more often used as an entertainment tool by the students. The issue of cell phone overuse is also a new emerging issue with over 9% students found to be affected.
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