Document Type : Original Article


1 Former BDS Student, Faculty of Dentistry, Manipal University College Malaysia, Melaka, Malaysia,

2 Former BDS Student, Faculty of Dentistry, Manipal University College Malaysia, Melaka, Malaysia

3 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia, Melaka, Malaysia


BACKGROUND: Behavioral addiction to smartphones is a common phenomenon in the present 
digital age, wherein indulgence in these devices is compulsive and impacts physical, social, and 
psychological health of the population. The smartphones effect on a dental student’s life is detrimental 
to their academics, health, and efficiency in providing clinical patient care. To assess use and addiction 
of smartphones among dental students under six major domains and to compare this based on their 
gender, ethnicity, and year of study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional study using a validated questionnaire, Smartphone 
addiction scale was conducted among 349 undergraduate students (N = 349) at a private dental 
school in Malaysia.
RESULTS: Overall results are presented as mean scores under six domains with total score as 
142.40 (33.65). The total scores compared between two genders did not show statistical difference, 
however on comparing individual domains, females (25.25) had higher mean score for daily life 
disturbance (P = 0.013) and males (30.17) for cyberspace‑oriented relationship (P = 0.001). 
Chinese students had higher scores with respect to withdrawal (32.45) and cyberspace‑oriented 
relationship (29.48) as compared to other ethnicities. Year 4 students show higher scores than other 
years in daily life disturbance (27.44), tolerance (16.81), and overuse (16.51).
CONCLUSION: Our research presents the extent and pattern of smartphone of usage and addiction 
among the undergraduate students at a dental school in Malaysia. The indicators of addiction 
highlighted in the study are pivotal in spreading awareness regarding this overuse and addiction as 
well as planning further research in this area.


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