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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 199-204

Nomophobic behaviors among smartphone using medical and engineering students in two colleges of West Bengal


1 Medical Officer (Specialist), Department of Community Medicine, Malda Medical College, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
3 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
4 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Sharmistha Bhattacherjee
Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri - 734 012, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_81_16

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Background: Growing smartphone usage among global and Indian college students has resulted in considerable issues of “nomophobia” (NMP) or feelings of discomfort or anxiety experienced by individuals whenever unable to use their smartphones. This significantly impacts their health, work, and study. Objective: The objective of this study is to find out the prevalence of NMP among smartphone using medical and engineering undergraduates of West Bengal and to compare the nomophobic behaviors, its predictors, and smartphone usage among them. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 303 medical and 305 engineering undergraduates in West Bengal using a validated NMP questionnaire consisting of four factors. Comparison of means of individual questions and factor scores was done. Nomophobic clusters among the two groups were identified using two-stage cluster analysis. Binary logistic regression was used for comparison of predictors of NMP. Results: Engineering students showed a higher proportion of nomophobics (44.6%) than medical students (42.6%). Significant higher means was observed among engineering students for the factor “giving upconvenience” and individual variables like “scared due to running out of battery,” “nervous due to disconnection from online identity,” “uncomfortable when unable stay up-to-date with social media” and “anxious when unable to check E-mails.” A Higher proportion of nomophobics among both groups were females, those owning smartphone beyond 2 years, having monthly mobile bill above Rs. 200 and spending over 4 h daily on smartphone. Conclusion: NMP has emerged as a significant cause of concern among both the groups. Standardized measures for identification and appropriate psychobehavioral therapy for those seeking help might alleviate the problem.


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