Published: 2022-04-27

Smartphone addiction and associated risk factors amongst undergraduate medical students in a medical college of Assam: a cross-sectional study

Ishan Phukan, Angchuman Chetia, Baidurjya Mahanta


Background: Use of smartphones is becoming increasingly indispensable in today’s world but increased usage creates addiction to it, which is associated with profound social and psychological disturbances. As such, this study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of smartphone addiction amongst undergraduate medical students and to assess their smartphone usage pattern.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 304 medical students. A pre-designed, pre-tested structured questionnaire containing the short-version of the smart phone addiction scale (SAS-SV) was used for data collection. Data is presented in percentages and association was tested using Chi-square and Fischer’s exact test.

Results: Prevalence of smartphone addiction was found to be 44.07%. The most personally relevant smart phone function reported was social-media usage followed by watching videos followed by phone calls. Students using smartphones on an average of 3-4 hours/day and >5 hours/day are 3.2 and 5.7 times more likely to be addicted to smartphones compared to the students’ using smartphones on an average of 11-60 mins/day [95% CI: 1.13-9.29, p=0.02 (3-4 hours/day) and 95% CI: 1.92-16.92, p=0.00 (>5 hours/day)]. Students using smartphones on a frequency of 21-50 times/day and >50 times/day are 6.7 times and 10.9 times more likely to be addicted to smartphones compared to the students’ using smartphones on a frequency of <5 times/day respectively [95% CI: 1.8-24.87, p=0.00 (21-50 times/day) and 95% CI: 2.79-43.1, p=0.00 (>50 times/day)].

Conclusions: Prevalence of smartphone addiction was quite high amongst the medical students compared to previous studies. As such, awareness regarding this upcoming problem amongst students is of utmost importance.


Smartphone, Addiction, Social media, Medical students

Full Text:



Sarwar M, Soomro T. Impact of Smartphone’s on Society. Eur J Scientific Res. 2013;98(2):216-26.

Davey S., Davey A. Assessment of Smartphone Addiction in Indian Adolescents: A Mixed Method Study by Systematic-review and Meta-analysis Approach. Int J Prev Med. 2014;5(12):1500-11.

Kim H. Exercise rehabilitation for smartphone addiction. J Exercise Rehabilitation. 2013;9(6):500-5.

Kwon M, Lee J, Won W, Park J, Min J, Hahn C, et al. Development and Validation of a Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS). PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56936.

Ammati R, Kakunje A, Karkal R, Nafisa D, Kini G, Chandrashekaran P. Smartphone Addiction among Students of Medical University in South India: A Cross-Sectional Study. Ann Int Med Dent Res. 2018;4(2).

Soni R, Upadhyay R, Jain M. Prevalence of smart phone addiction, sleep quality and associated behaviour problems in adolescents. Int J Res Med Sci. 2017;5(2):515.

Haug S, Castro R, Kwon M, Filler A, Kowatsch T, Schaub M. Smartphone use and smartphone addiction among young people in Switzerland. J Behavioral Addictions. 2015;4(4):299-307.

Chen B, Liu F, Ding S, Ying X, Wang L, Wen Y. Gender differences in factors associated with smartphone addiction: a cross-sectional study among medical college students. BMC Psychiatr. 2017;17(1).

Lopez-Fernandez O. Short version of the Smartphone Addiction Scale adapted to Spanish and French: Towards a cross-cultural research in problematic mobile phone use. Addictive Behaviors. 2017;64:275-80.

Sethuraman A, Rao S, Charlette L, Thatkar P, Vincent V. Smartphone addiction among medical college students in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Int J Comm Med Public Health. 2022;5(10).

Al-Barashdi H, Bouazza A, Jabur N. Smartphone Addiction among University Undergraduates: A Literature Review. J Scientific Res Rep. 2015;4(3):210-25.

Kawasaki N, Tanei S, Ogata F, Burapadaja S, Loetkham C, Nakamura T, et al. Survey on Cellular Phone Usage on Students in Thailand. J Physiol Anthrop. 2006;25(6):377-82.

Hakoama M, Hakoyama S. The impact of cell phone use on social networking and development among college student. Am Assoc Behavioral Social Sci. 2011;15:1-20.

Takao M, Takahashi S, Kitamura M. Addictive personality and problematic mobile phone use. Cyber Psychol Behavior. 2009;12(5):501-7.

Perry S, Lee K. Mobile phone text messaging overuse among developing world university students. Communication. 2007;33(2):63-79.

Cha S, Seo B. Smartphone use and smartphone addiction in middle school students in Korea: Prevalence, social networking service, and game use. Health Psychol Open. 2018;5(1):205510291875504.

Aljomaa S, Al.Qudah M, Albursan I, Bakhiet S, Abduljabbar A. Smartphone addiction among university students in the light of some variables. Comp Human Behavior. 2016;61:155-64.

Lepp A, Barkley J, Karpinski A. The relationship between cell phone use, academic performance, anxiety, and Satisfaction with Life in college students. Comp Human Behavior. 2014;31:343-50.

Javid M, Malik MA, Gujjar AA. Mobile phone culture and its psychological impacts on students' learning at the university level. Language in India. 2011;11(2):416-22.

Walsh S, White K, Young R. Over-connected? A qualitative exploration of the relationship between Australian youth and their mobile phones. J Adolescence. 2008;31(1):77-92.

Lin Y, Lin Y, Lee Y, Lin P, Lin S, Chang L, et al. Time distortion associated with smartphone addiction: Identifying smartphone addiction via a mobile application (App). J Psychiatric Res. 2015;65:139-45.

Lee H, Ahn H, Choi S, Choi W. The SAMS: Smartphone Addiction Management System and Verification. J Med Systems. 2014;38(1).

Salehan M, Negahban A. Social networking on smartphones: When mobile phones become addictive. Comp Human Behavior. 2013;29(6):2632-9.