Mazloomy Mahmoodabad SS, Barkhordari A, Nadrian H, Moshiri O, Yavari MT. 2009. Survey of ownership and use of mobile phones among medical science students in Yazd. Pak J Biol Sci. 12(21):1430-3.
Despite extensive use of mobile phones all over the world, the pattern of their ownership and use by the general population and students is not well known.
This study was performed “to assess the pattern of ownership and use of mobile phones in medical science students and their views about any possible negative effects.”
This survey was conducted among 309 students selected using a stratified sampling scheme from various departments of Yazd University of Medical Sciences. Information on the students’ demographic characteristics, field of study, the number of semesters attended at the university, mobile phone use, the students’ views about negative effects of mobile phones and ways of reducing these effects, was obtained from self-administered questionnaires.
The participants’ age range was between 18 and 27 years, 53% of them were females. Most students (≈73%) spoke on the phone for less than 20 minutes per day, received or sent fewer than 10 text messages a day (≈64%), and listened to music on the mobile phone for less than 30 minutes per day (≈61%). Mean speaking time was 28.3±50.5 min/day, listening to music – 51.9±81.5 min/day, the mean number of text messages received or sent was 18.8±37 /day. The participants used mobile phones at home (≈87%), in the street (≈80%), in the classroom (≈38%), while driving (≈19%) and in the library (≈18%). About 84% of the participants reported that the use of a mobile phone in the classroom distracts the attention of other students. Some students believed that the use of mobile phones can cause vestibular system disorders (≈33%), headache (≈33%) and mental disorders (≈29%). The best ways to reduce these disorders suggested by the participants were to reduce the mobile phone use (≈49%) and to keep the phone far from the body by using a hands-free set (27.5%).
Interpretation and Conclusion
Despite a ban on mobile phone use while driving in Iran, a considerable proportion of students reported doing this. The frequent use of mobile phones in the classroom and the high proportion of students reporting distraction of attention require new regulations to be established at the university. The authors conclude that “keeping in pace with major community and technology changes, including mobile phone usage and their effects on the university environment, it seems that responsible departments or managers must predict their possible effects and establish new regulations, accordingly.”