Document Type : Original Article


Department of Community Health Sciences, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan


INTRODUCTION: Addiction refers to the irresistible urge to engage in certain actions or dependence 
on a particular substance despite knowing negative consequences. The current study evaluated the 
severity of Smartphone addiction and the factors associated with cell phone‑like activity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross‑sectional study was conducted from July to August 
2019 among medical and dental students in Karachi, Pakistan. A pretested self‑administered 
questionnaire was used among 400 students. The mobile phone addiction was assessed using a 
20-item, Mobile Phone Addiction Scale. A two‑stage cluster analysis was used to assess mobile 
phone addiction‑like behaviours. Chi‑square test was used to find associations between categorical 
variables. Kolmogorov–Smirnov to test normality of data were also used. A P < 0.05 was considered 
to be statistically significant for all tests.
RESULTS: Out of the total 400 students, the majority 316 (79%) comprise female students. The 
mean age was 20.54 ± 1.59 years. In 184 (48%) students, there was evidence of mobile phone 
addiction‑like behavior. The prevalence was higher in female than male students and among older 
compared to adolescent students; the differences were statistically nonsignificant. A higher median 
score ≥ of 4 is found in questions related to components reflected intense desire, impaired control, 
and tolerance and harmful mobile use.
CONCLUSION: This study highlights that a large number of students are addicted to their 
smartphones. Smartphone addiction continues to be the most problematic addiction aided by the 
presence of intense desire, impaired control tolerance, and harmful mobile use. The phenomenon 
must be fully understood to draw deeper and richer inferences about the origins of this addictive 
behavior, which is becoming more prevalent in our Pakistani society on a daily basis.


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