Full Project – Prevalence and implications of phone addiction among healthcare students – a survey
1.0 Background to the Study
Smart-phones are powerful devices that include many features, such as phone and internet browsers and access to social networks. According to a recent report, the number of smart-phone users in 2021 was 3.8 billion (Bank My Cell, 2020). Moreover, today’s college students are growing up with the company of smart-phones, which have become a necessity in their lives (Long, et. al., 2021). As the number of smart-phone users increases, smart-phone addiction has also been rising. The percentage of smart-phones users is rapidly increasing in Saudi population. According to Google’s latest study, Australia, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates all boast smart-phone adoption rates above 50% (Hejab & Alfawareh, 2014).
Smartphone use is not just pleasurable and decreases the sensation of pain and stress but also results in lack of control over the use, which leads to dependency (Diana, 2018). Dependency in this sense is referred to as addiction. Smartphone addiction has been defined as the overuse of smart-phones to the extent that it disturbs the users’ daily lives (Demirci, et al., 2014). Symptoms such as preoccupation with the device, excessive use with loss of control, use in socially inappropriate/dangerous situations, feelings of anger, tension, depression when the phone/network inaccessible, ringer anxiety, constant worry that battery will drain, signs of craving, need for new better phone, more software or more hours of use, poor achievements and social isolation in one person may be related to her/his addiction to mobile phone (Nikhita, et al., 2015).
Most studies have assumed that it is an addictive behaviour, even though there is still active discussion on whether excessive smart-phone use is part of a continuum of addictive behaviors (Yu & Sussman, 2020). To most researchers, excessive smart-phone use has been considered a form of technological addiction (Lin, et. al., 2014), which has been defined as a behavioral addiction that involves interaction between a human and a machine that is non-chemical (Kuss & Billie, 2017). Furthermore, a study in the past has shown that smartphone addiction exhibits several similar aspects to substance-related dependence including a) compulsive behavior, b) withdrawal, c) tolerance, and d) functional impairment (Lin, et. al., 2014).
The prevalence of smartphone addiction varies from country to country where past research has found the levels to be 26.6% in Korea (Lee, 2018), 26.8% in India (Choksi & Patel, 2021), 9.3% in Tehran (Yahyazadeh, et al., 2016), and 16.9% in Switzerland (Haug, et. al., 2017). In Malaysia, a recent study found a much higher prevalence rate of 40.6% (Lei, et al., 2020). The prevalence of smart-phone addiction might be higher than the internet addiction due to difference between mobile phone and Internet. Furthermore, if features of smart-phones will increase, the likelihood of addiction will also be increased (Chen, et al., 2003).
Phone addiction can cause memory and concentration problems, physical abnormalities, change in eating behavior and sleep disturbances among students (Choi, et. al, 2015). Addiction of smart-phone reduced the health-related quality of life and students’ academic achievement significantly (Buctot, et al., 2020). Use of smart-phones while driving has high risk of road traffic accidents because of distraction (Olsen, et al., 2013). Several studies have reported that smart-phone overuse can cause physical health problems for individuals, such as musculoskeletal pain, blurred vision, headache and pain in the wrists or neck (Soni, et al., 2017). Moreover, excessive use of smart-phones is associated with numerous negative outcomes, including poor academic performance, academic procrastination (Mohamed & Mostafa, 2020), depression and anxiety and poor sleep quality (Alhassan, et. al., 2018). Researchers found that depressive and anxiety symptoms were highly prevalent among university students after the COVID-19 outbreak (Xie, et. al., 2021).
1.1 Problem Statement
Smartphone use is a common phenomenon among college students, healthcare students inclusive. In many occasions are the students found foundling with their phones even while academic activities are on. They have become so engrossed with their smart phones that they can hardly path with it o the extent that they get displeased when situations prevent them from using the phones. This addiction has led many into difficult and unpleasant emotion to isolation. Students with less or no social interaction might be judged negatively and worthless by the society. Students start their morning routine with cell phone by checking them and then open up their life through social media. Gadies and Muhammed (2016) found that 46% of the people who own cell phones emphasized that they could not live without them. It is said that teenagers are safe when they incline to stay in their rooms and avoid all the parties and functions, but the number of suicides and depression disorders is increasing with an alarming rate.
Diana (2018) result shown that high rate of loneliness with those who are addicted to smart-phone when compared to those who feel less lonely. Phone addiction can affect all aspect of person life negatively includes sleep, nutrition, physical activity and social function (Ahmadi, 2014). It also affects students’ academic and professional progress and family relationships negatively. Increase in phone addiction can cause increase in the problems associated with it and that lead to increase burden into health-care system. As the problems caused due to the addiction do not required any specialty to get treated with, most of the conducted studies were planned and executed under these departments (Hejab & Alfawareh, 2014).
To the best knowledge of the researcher, there is scarcity of studies in relation to phone addiction among healthcare students in Kwrara State. Many of the available ones were foreign studies, they were not conducted in the locale f this current study and they did not focus on the healthcare students. Based on the observed gaps in the existing literature, this current research therefore, intends to investigate the prevalence and implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence and implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Specifically, the study will examine the:
- Prevalence of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin.
- Implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin.
- Difference in the perceived prevalence of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on gender.
- Difference in the perceived implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on gender.
- Difference in the perceived prevalence of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on age.
- Difference in the perceived implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on age.
1.2 Research Questions
The following research questions are raised to be answered in this study:
- How prevalent is phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin?
- What are the implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin?
1.2 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated for testing in this study:
- There is no significant difference in the perceived prevalence of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on gender.
- There is no significant difference in the perceived implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on gender.
- There is no significant difference in the perceived prevalence of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on age.
- There is no significant difference in the perceived implications of phone addiction among healthcare students in UITH school complex, Ilorin based on age.
1.3 Significance of the Study
The findings from the conduct of this study would be of immense benefits to the healthcare students, their lecturers, the school authority, school counselling center and the future researchers. The healthcare students would find the results of this study beneficial by understanding the extent to which they have been addicted to the use of smart phone through several symptoms they could be observed in themselves and some of the associated risks to phone addiction. This will serve as a wakeup call to reduce the rate at which they are engaged with phones for their overall wellbeing.
Lecturers of the healthcare students would find the outcome of this study beneficial as it would enlighten them on how common phone addiction is among their students and the consequences associated with it. This will give them the priviledge to be able to harness students’ phone use ad channel it into their educational activities, so that their phone addiction could be drastically reduced and the minimum usage of it could be for positive purpose only.
The school authority would also gain from the outcomes of this research. Understanding the prevalence and implications of phone addiction among their students would enable the authority to design relevant programmes to disorientate students towards excessive phone use and include in the curriculum academic subjects that could help in educating students on the danger inherent in overuse of phone addiction; thereby, reducing their level of phone engagement.
School counseling center would find results of this study resourceful. It would equip them with relevant information of prevalence and implications of phone addiction. This would enable the counsellors to investigate into the root cause of the problem, work towards designing appropriate programmes and adopting relevant counselling techniques to help students reduce their level of addiction to phone usage.
Future researcher would benefit from the findings of this study. With the findings, they would be able to observe the loophole in this research and develop a problem topic in that regard; thereby, contributing more to knowledge to the research field in phone addiction.
1.4 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined as used in this study:
Healthcare Students: They are students from the eight Departments that constitute the UITH school complex, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Phone Addiction: This refers to dependency on the usage of smart phone or excessive use of smart phone. Healthcare students who experience symptoms such as worry, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc as a result of their inaccessibility to their smart phones.
Implications of Phone Addiction: Consequences or problems associated with the excessive use of phone among healthcare students.
Prevalence of Phone Addiction: Level of occurrence or frequency of occurrence of healthcare students’ excessive use of smart phones.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the prevalence and implications of phone addiction among healthcare students at UITH school complex, Ilorin, Kara State. The study was also aim at examining the relative influence of gender and age on the respondents’ perceptions. The sample of this study is 234 students across the eight departments. The instrument for data collection was a self-designed questionnaire on “Prevalence and Implications of Phone Addiction”. The data to be collected were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Percentage, mean and standard deviation were the descriptive statistical tools that were employed; while t-test and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) are the inferential statistics that were used to test the hypotheses formulated for the study at 0.05 level of significance.
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Full Project – Prevalence and implications of phone addiction among healthcare students – a survey