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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 83-87

Smartphone usage among female students of a private dental institution in North Kerala: A Cross-Sectional Study


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Century International Institute of Dental Sciences, Poinachi, Kasaragod, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Century International Institute of Dental Sciences, Poinachi, Kasaragod - 671 541, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_35_19

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Background: Smartphones are now a part of our lives. We are increasingly depending on smartphones for almost everything. This technological prodigy has started infiltrating every aspect in our day to day lives to alarming levels. Objective: To determine the pattern of usage of smartphones by female students of dental institution in North Kerala. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among 152 female students. A closed ended, self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the number of hours spent, reasons for using, most commonly accessed applications, pattern of usage in response to different situations encountered, and whether or not they experience anxiety if the phone is not in possession. In addition, background data such as age, gender, place of residence, and year of study were also elicited. Student's t-test and analysis of variance were used to compare mean hours spent with respect to place of residence and year of study. Results: Everyone possessed a smartphone and spent about 5.1 ± 4 h on its usage. Final years spent significantly more time on their smartphone (P = 0.03). Sixty six percent reportedly checked their smartphones even when there was no notification. About 52% resorted to “phubbing” to end a conversation. Almost 80% accessed their smartphones during stress and 61% stayed awake longer than usual to access smartphones. WhatsApp™ was the most commonly accessed application, and 59.8% used their smartphones for social networking. Conclusion: The variables used in the study indicate trends reflecting increased usage and dependence on smartphones. This is unhealthy and needs effective strategy to create awareness among the masses for a balanced use of smartphones.


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