SMARTPHONE USAGE AND PATTERNS TOWARDS SELF-REPORTED SYMPTOMS DURING EARLY 2019 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS IN MALAYSIA.

 

Megat KAMARUDDIN PSN, Mohammed NAWI A.

 

Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Smartphone ubiquity has become profound during coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Prior research suggests smartphone usage and patterns correlated with self-reported symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate smartphone usage and associated patterns of self-reported symptoms among medical students in Malaysia during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 252 medical students who were given questionnaires regarding sociodemographic, socioeconomic characteristics, smartphone usage and patterns of self-reported symptoms. Total severity scores of self-reported symptoms were calculated. Association between socio-demographic, socio-economic and academic performance status with smartphone usage and patterns were examined using simple and multiple linear regression analysis. Results: Mean Smartphone Addiction ScaleĖMalay score for smartphone usage was 101.43 (SD = 25.15). Smartphone patterns revealed 7 years of smartphone ownership, 32 minutes per day on calls and 4 hours per day on others (for entertainment (50%) and non-entertainment (50%) purposes. They had one extra device and used their smartphone 15 minutes after waking up in the morning. After controlling other factors, fatherís employment status (adjusted (Adj.) Ŗ=7.431, 95% CI: 3.069, 11.793) and smartphone usage for entertainment purposes (Adj. Ŗ = 4.211, 95% CI: 0.460, 7.962) were only two significant predictors for self-reported symptoms. Conclusion: Fatherís employment status and smartphone usage for entertainment purposes were associated with increased frequency of self-reported symptoms among medical students during the early lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. Parentsí participation from early childhood and public campaigns to avoid smartphone addiction are essential.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, Medical student(s), Pattern(s), Symptoms, Smartphone.

 

Corresponding author: Azmawati Mohammed Nawi, (MD, Mcomm. Med, PhD), Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: +603-91458780. Fax: +603-91456670.

Email: azmawati@ppukm.ukm.edu.my

Brunei Int Med J.2022;18:63-74

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