Prevalence of smartphone addiction: correlates of smartphone use and its association with social phobia in post-graduate medical students in Assam

Prosenjit Ghosh, Anweshan Ghosh, Madhurima Khasnabis


Background: Smartphone use has become pervasive in everyday lives of university students. Excessive smartphone use leads to various physical problems, as well as psychological issues like reduced academic achievement, social interactions, and leading to relationship problems. Depression, loneliness and anxiety have emerged as important predictors of smartphone addiction. Social anxiety also known as social phobia is an intense anxiety or fear of being negatively judged or rejected in a socially demanding situation. This may lead to individuals avoiding face-to-face interaction and increasingly engaging in online interaction. Medical post-graduate students are more vulnerable to stress due to the demanding nature of their course as well as extensive smartphone users. Objectives of the study were to see the socio-demographic distribution of the post-graduate medical students, to assess the pattern of smart phone use and prevalence of smartphone addiction in the post-graduate medical students, to see the association of smartphone addiction with pattern of use and to see the association of smartphone addiction with social phobia among the study participants

Methods: This study was cross-sectional non-interventional study. Self-reported questionnaires were used to collect information from 70 postgraduate medical students. The data was collected the smartphone addiction scale-short version and Liebowitz social anxiety scale.  The data obtained was analysed using SPSS version 23.

Results: Majority of the participants were female, in the age group 26-30 years, single, belonging to upper middle class of an urban locality, with no past history of psychiatric illness. Most common functionality was social networking. The prevalence of smartphone addiction was 28.6% with similar gender predisposition. 37.1% of the study participants were found to have social phobia.

Conclusions: No association was found between smartphone addiction and social phobia. The smartphone addiction was found to have significant association with pattern of use and duration of use (p<0.05).


Smartphone addiction, Internet use, Dependence, Post-graduate medical students, Social anxiety

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