J Med Assoc Thai 2022; 105 (4):359-67

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Prevalence of Nomophobia and Relationship with Anxiety and Depression among University Students in Southern Thailand
Denprechavong V , Ngamchaliew P Mail, Buathong N

Objective: To determine the prevalence of nomophobia or no mobile phone phobia, and to find out its relationship with anxiety and depression among university students.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in a largest university in Southern Thailand, between July 2020 and October 2020. Data were collected using an online self-questionnaire, including personal and educational data, smartphone usage characteristics, the Thai version of the Nomophobia Questionnaire (NMP-Q), and the Thai Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (Thai-HADS).

Results: Six hundred thirty-eight university students completed the online self-questionnaires. The median age was 20 years (IQR 19 to 21 years), 77% were female, and 81.8% were undergraduate student. The prevalence of nomophobia was 76.1%, with the highest prevalence of severity level was moderate nomophobia (59.6%). Prevalence of anxiety and depression were 14.3% and 6.6%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed the significant factors associated with nomophobia were being female (ORadj 1.64; 95% CI 1.072 to 2.521), having anxiety (ORadj 3.47; 95% CI 1.604 to 7.510), using smartphones to access social media (ORadj 2.84; 95% CI 1.333 to 6.067), and smartphone checking less than every 30 minutes (ORadj, 4.32; 95% CI 2.344 to 7.961) and every 30 to 60 minutes (ORadj 1.97; 95% CI 1.089 to 3.556).

Conclusion: The present study provided evidence that nomophobia is an emerging mental health problem in the university students. The COVID-19 situation may further exacerbate this issue. University students with nomophobia should be carefully monitored for anxiety, especially in female. The present study information is important to reduce smartphone usage and access to social media.

Keywords: Nomophobia; Anxiety; Depression; University; Student; Thailand

DOI: 10.35755/jmedassocthai.2022.04.13289

Received 5 July 2021 | Revised 28 February 2022 | Accepted 9 March 2022

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