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Background and Objectives: The survey of Thailand internet use profile 2016 found that generation Y (18-37 years old) was the most internet overusers and smartphone was the most popular digital devices. Lifestyle of smartphone overusers might affect their health and academic performance in young adults. This study aimed to investigate the impact of smartphone and tablet use on health and academic performance of pharmacy students at Srinakharinwirot University.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed in all pharmacy students enrolled in the academic year 2017. Data was collected by research questionnaire including general characteristics, the smartphone and tablet use modified from Smartphone Addiction Scale-Short Version (SAS-SV), physical health data developed by researchers and mental health data evaluated by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) Thai version for depression test and Suanprung Stress Test -20 for stress test.
Results: Three hundred and ninety-one of pharmacy students voluntarily participated in the study. Most of them were female with mean age 21.6 years old. 75.5% of them used only smartphone. Duration and frequency of smartphone and/or tablet use were 3-4 hours per day and 11-20 times per day, respectively. Smartphone and/or tablet addiction was indicated to 39.1% of total. Physical health data showed that most participants (70.1%) were “normal health” measured in term of the total physical health. For considering physical health data by each category, it found that most participants were “beginning of physical health problem” in the daily life and the memory and concentration categories. Mental health data revealed 32.5% of depression, 41.4% of moderate stress and 38.6% of high stress. Smartphone and/or tablet addiction showed statistically significant effect on the total physical health, the vision health, the hearing health, the memory and concentration and the sickness categories (p ≤ 0.05). Moreover, smartphone and/or tablet addiction had significant impact on depression and stress (p ≤ 0.05). However, it had no effect on academic performance.
Conclusion: Smartphone and/or tablet addiction had significant impact on the total physical health and mental health and still no effect on academic performance in pharmacy students at Srinakharinwirot University.
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