Quarterly scientific journal

The association of nursing students mobile phone dependence with their health behaviors: a pilot study

Thalia Bellali , Athanasios Mastrokostas , Maria Gkrizioti , Maria Avramika , Kyriaki Tileniki

Abstract

Mobile phone use is such a common phenomenon nowadays, that many researchers refer to children and adolescents as a 'mobile generation'. Several studies associate mobile phone use (in terms of voice communication, text sending and internet use with psychological, social and physiological outcomes. Aim: The aim of this study was the exploration of the association of mobile phone dependence with health behaviors in a population οf students of nursing. Material-Method: This study, which follows a cross-sectional survey design, was conducted from November 2009 to January 2010. The convenience sample of the study included 206 nursing students of a Higher Technological Education Institution (response rate 68.5%). Data was collected with the use of anonymous questionnaires. Mobile phone dependence was measured with the Mobile Phone Dependence Questionnaire-MPDQ (by Toda et al. 2006). Statistical analysis was conducted with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 15.0). All hypotheses were tested at a significance level of p <0,05. Results: The mean score for mobile phone dependence was 25,4(± 12,1 95% Cl:23,7-27), while the percentage of students who presented a high level of dependence (mean value of dependence> 38) was 13,6%. Women presented a higher degree of dependence compared to men (p=0,007), while there was no significant difference between smoking and non-smoking students (p=0,435), as well between alcohol and no alcohol consuming students (p=0,368). Students who had no physical exercise had significantly greater dependence on mobile phone use compared to students who were exercising for one or two hours per week (p=0,001). Testing the relationship between age and dependence, a low negative correlation was found (rho=-0,254, p=0,001), demonstrating that younger students are more prone to mobile phone dependence. Conclusions: Mobile phone use in the daily routine of the students is so prevalent that it could be characterized as a "modern" addiction. The fact that this dependence was found to be associated with some unhealthy health behaviors, should raise concern both in individual level,(students and their families), and in administrative level (the faculty of educational institutions) about the future health status of the student population.

Keywords: Mobile telephony, health behaviors, students, dependence

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