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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 207-211

The relationship between nomophobia, mental health, and coping style in medical students

1 Department of Psychiatry, Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chandraprakash Poornima
Department of Psychiatry, Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Devanahalli, Bengaluru - 562 110, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_213_20

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Background: Nomophobia refers to an irrational fear of being beyond contact with a mobile phone. Excessive smartphone use can affect physical and mental health of medical students, who already have an increased vulnerability to stress. Coping focuses on resolving the stressful situation and minimizing emotional reaction. This study attempted to understand the correlation between phone addiction and mental health and the coping strategies adopted by the students to handle their stress. Subjects and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study in which the sample was selected by universal sampling. A total of 246 medical students from 2nd and 3rd years of undergraduation consented to participate in the study. Nomophobia Questionnaire, Mental Health Inventory (MHI), and Brief COPE scales were administered. Results: The prevalence of nomophobia was 100% and based on the severity, 65.9% of the students had moderate nomophobia. The mean score of MHI was 52.67 with a standard deviation of 8.37. The more common coping styles adapted by medical students were planning activities in advance, positive reframing, and acceptance. A weak negative correlation was present between nomophobia and mental health status. Among persons with nomophobia, those with higher nomophobia scores responded with venting, self-blame, denial, substance use, and self-distraction as coping strategies when exposed to stress. Conclusions: Persons with nomophobia have been identified to have maladaptive coping strategies. Health education strategies should be targeted to youth to prevent harmful effects of this great invention, and workshops on stress and effective coping strategies should be conducted through the academic years.

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