Indian Journal of Public Health

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68--69

A comment on “nomophobic behaviors among smartphone using medical and engineering students in two colleges of West Bengal” letter by dasgupta et alx. (2017)


Saurav Basu 
 Junior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Saurav Basu
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
India




How to cite this article:
Basu S. A comment on “nomophobic behaviors among smartphone using medical and engineering students in two colleges of West Bengal” letter by dasgupta et alx. (2017).Indian J Public Health 2018;62:68-69


How to cite this URL:
Basu S. A comment on “nomophobic behaviors among smartphone using medical and engineering students in two colleges of West Bengal” letter by dasgupta et alx. (2017). Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 May 11 ];62:68-69
Available from: https://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2018/62/1/68/226623


Full Text



Sir,

I read the article by Dasgupta et al. who evaluated the prevalence of nomophobic behavior among smartphone using Medical and Engineering students of West Bengal with great interest.[1] The authors show that growing intrusion of smartphones in the lives of young carries with it significant implications for public health. However, I have some concerns regarding the methodology used in this study, the clarification of which should aid future research on this subject.

The nomophobia questionnaire (NMP-Q) developed by Yildirim and Correia was used for the assessment of nomophobia.[2] The authors have just stated that they used classified higher scores as nomophobic for logistic regression analysis. Was a particular cutoff score employed by the authors for categorization of a smartphone user as NMP in this study?Items in the NMP questionnaires such as Q. 4, Q. 8, Q. 10, Q. 12, Q. 13 indicate standard capabilities available in all mobile phones. Furthermore, the first 3 factors in the questionnaire are not necessarily linked to NMP in the Indian context. For instance, students belonging to low-moderate socioeconomic status lacking gadgets such as laptop, television, or Wi-Fi in their hostel room could use a low-cost smartphone as a primary electronic device for accessing information and digital entertainment often on-line (Q. 2). Smartphone apps permit users to book transport like cabs and find routes on digital maps and users may feel stranded in the former’s absence due to poor quality of public transport (Q. 8). Similarly, lack of telephonic connectivity may be of particularly concern for women students in public spaces due to safety concerns (Q. 15)The authors did not find the duration of smartphone usage to be a significant predictor of nomophobia. However, this might be since the authors assessed absolute duration of smartphone usage in the students instead of ascertaining excessive use. A student who uses a smartphone in his hostel-room to watch videos will have higher duration of smartphone use compared to his peers who use alternate electronic devices like televisions or computers for the same function. On the other hand, another student who habitually checks social networks during his classes or late at night getting fewer hours of sleep in turn is likely to have NMP but exhibit similar duration of smartphone usage as the formerSmartphone users may exhibit addiction traits such as behavior and compulsive usage.[3],[4] The authors have discussed that nomophobics slept with their mobiles and indulged in compulsive checking suggesting addiction but did not evaluate these traits among their subjects. This could be a study limitation since other validated instruments could be used to identify addiction-like behavior in smartphone users. Aggarwal et al. who developed a 23-item questionnaire with most items designed for assessing one or more of the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for addiction which includes intense desire, impaired control, withdrawal, tolerance, decreased alternate pleasure, and harmful use.[3] The 33-item smartphone addiction scale developed by Kwon et al. evaluates six factors relating to smartphone addiction; daily-life disturbance, positive anticipation, withdrawal, cyberspace-oriented relationship, overuse, and tolerance.[4]

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Conflicts of interest

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References

1Dasgupta P, Bhattacherjee S, Dasgupta S, Roy JK, Mukherjee A, Biswas R, et al. Nomophobic behaviors among smartphone using medical and engineering students in two colleges of west bengal. Indian J Public Health 2017;61:199-204.
2Yildirim C, Correia AP. Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire. Comput Hum Behav 2015;49:130-7.
3Aggarwal M, Grover S, Basu D. Mobile phone use by resident doctors: Tendency to addiction-like behaviour. Ger J Psychiatry 2012;15:50-5.
4Kwon M, Lee JY, Won WY, Park JW, Min JA, Hahn C, et al. Development and validation of a smartphone addiction scale (SAS). PLoS One 2013;8:e56936.