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Problematic smart phone use in medical undergraduates in a tertiary teaching hospital in South India during COVID lockdown

 Department of Psychiatry, P.E.S Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
P Sreeelatha,
Department of Psychiatry, P.E.S Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_33_21

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced all spheres of existence. Medical education, especially undergraduates, had to cope with the changing trends in the delivery of teaching modules. This has substantially influenced smart phone usage in medical students. Aims: The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on smart phone usage in medical students Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional online survey design, 556 medical undergraduates in a teaching hospital were included and assessed using questionnaires to measure problematic smart phone use/addiction. Results: Majority of the medical students scored high on problematic mobile phone use questionnaire short version-dependent subscale and SMARTPHONE ADDICTION SCALE-SHORT VERSION scales used to assess smart phone usage. Significant increase in the smart phone use during COVID lockdown was observed when compared to smart phone use before lockdown. Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic with resulted in nationwide lockdown affected the smart phone usage in medical students. Problematic smart phone use and smart phone addiction is prevalent in medical undergraduates. Smart phone use for recreational use exceeds the smart phone use for academic achievement.

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