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An online survey of prevalence and risk factors of nomophobia in Indian adults

1 Department of Psychiatry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Maheshwara Medical College and Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumithra Devi Sinnathambi,
Department of Psychiatry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Maduranthagam, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_49_22

Background: India stands to be the major market of exponential growth for the suppliers of smartphones. With the increasing availability and reduced pricing, both smartphone usage and its dependence are bound to increase. Nomophobia though reported commonly in the young, the behavior seems to span across age which warrants further exploration. This study aimed to determine the relationship between the smartphone use and nomophobia disorder among adults. Methodology: Adults above 18 years responded to our online survey by snowballing method. Information collected included sociodemographic data, smartphone use details, and severity of nomophobia assessed by a 20-item NoMophobia Questionnaires (NMP-Q). Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS software version 20. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Results: A total of 661 participants (female = 309) responded to our survey. Among them 51.1% were in 18–29 years age group. Majority were employed (61.7%) and married (50.4%), coming from an urban background (81.1%), owned a 4G mobile (82.5%), consuming >4 GB per month (58.6%). About 42% of them used smartphones for more than 4 h on activities not related to their jobs. They used smartphones frequently to search information, text and talk to family members. Mostly used when bored, alone or waiting for someone. The median NMP-Q score was 77 (±22.5) and 49.3% of our respondents had scored above the median cutoff score. Nomophobia was positively correlated with duration of phone use per day and inversely with age. Duration of smartphone use predicted nomophobia (80.34 + 4.91; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Nomophobia prevails across age group with increased severity in the young. Intervention need to be planned to decrease the duration of use per day as it emerged as a significant predictor of nomophobia.

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