Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2023, 74(1): 93-102

Validity, reliability and prevalence estimates of nomophobia among undergraduate dental students of Bhubaneswar, India
[Validity, reliability and prevalence estimates of nomophobia among undergraduate dental students of Bhubaneswar, India]

Upasana Mohapatra, Ramesh Nagarajappa, Dharmashree Satyarup, Sailaja Panda

Background. Considered a modern phobia, Nomophobia (NO MObile PHOne PhoBIA) is a term describing irrational fear or anxiety of being unable to access one’s own mobile phone.
Objectives. To develop and validate the nomophobia questionnaire, administering it to a sample of adolescents representing undergraduate dental students. To assess the prevalence of Nomophobia, determine the usage pattern of mobile phones and evaluate the impact due to lack of access to mobile phones among undergraduate dental students.
Material and method. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 302 undergraduate students of Bhubaneswar through a self-administered questionnaire via Google Forms consisting of 19 items evaluating the pattern and anxiety related to usage of mobile phones. Responses were recorded on a 5-point Likert scale. Kruskal Wallis, Mann-Whitney U and Chisquare tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results. Test-Retest reliability showed kappa of k=0.86 and Internal consistency Chronbach’s-Alpha to be α=0.82. Prevalence of nomophobia (score ≥ 58) was 32.1%, and students at risk of being nomophobic (score 39-57) was 61.9%. It was highest in males (32.6%) and amongst the interns (41.9%) and lowest (25.5%) amongst the second-year students. Participants felt nervous/insecure if their phones were away from them because of the fear that somebody might have accessed their data (3.07±1.93) and or tried to contact them (3.09±1.13) which were not statistically significant (p>0.05).
Conclusions. The present study confirms that nomophobia is an emerging behavioural addiction among dental students.
Adequate prevention strategies would be helpful in reducing the impact of the chronic mobile usage. Effect of the mobile phone on dental students and the fear of not having it with them is increasing elaborately, that needs to be controlled. Otherwise, it would negatively affect their academic achievement and well-being.

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