The Prevalence of Smartphone Addiction and Its Relationship with the Level of e-Health Literacy in Medical Sciences Students

Sadrieh Hajesmaeel-Gohari, Fateme Mirzapourestabragh, Maryam Zeidabadi-Nejad



Introduction: Smartphone addiction has increased in recent years, especially with the onset of COVID-19 among students. It is possible that as the level of eHealth literacy increases among students, their addiction to smartphones decreases. This study aims to investigate this hypothesis.

Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 390 medical sciences students. Two standard questionnaires were used to gather data. The first questionnaire was the Smartphone Addiction Inventory Scale, and the second questionnaire was the eHealth Literacy Scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive and analytic statistics.

Results: There was no significant relationship between the gender of the participants and the mean scores of smartphone addiction or eHealth literacy. However, the relationship between the age of the participants and the mean scores of smartphone addiction or eHealth literacy was significant. Only the relationship between the educational level of the participants and the mean scores of smartphone addiction was significant. The correlation between smartphone addiction and eHealth literacy in students was not significant.

Conclusion: Age and educational level were significant factors influencing smartphone addiction. To decrease smartphone addiction and increase eHealth literacy, educational programs should be implemented for medical science students, who play a crucial role as future guardians of health.


Smartphone; Addiction; eHealth; Literacy;


Techtarget Network. Smartphone [Internet]. 2003 [cited: 15 Jan 2023]. Available from:

Statista. Number of smartphone subscriptions worldwide [Internet]. 2014 [cited: 15 Jan 2023]. Available from:

Chemnad K, Alshakhsi S, Almourad MB, Altuwairiqi M, Phalp K, Ali R. Smartphone usage before and during COVID-19: A comparative study based on objective recording of usage data. Informatics. 2022; 9(4): 98.

Robinson L, Smith M, Segal J. Smartphone and Internet addiction [Internet]. 2023 [cited: 15 Apr 2023]. Available from:

Csibi S, Griffiths MD, Demetrovics Z, Szabo A. Analysis of problematic smartphone use across different age groups within the ‘components model of addiction’. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 2021; 19(3): 616-31.

Saadeh H, Al Fayez RQ, Al Refaei A, Shewaikani N, Khawaldah H, Abu-Shanab S, et al. Smartphone use among university students during COVID-19 quarantine: An ethical trigger. Front Public Health. 2021; 9: 600134. PMID: 34381747 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.600134

Liu H, Zhou Z, Huang L, Zhu E, Yu L, Zhang M. Prevalence of smartphone addiction and its effects on subhealth and insomnia: A cross-sectional study among medical students. BMC Psychiatry. 2022; 22(1): 305. PMID: 35488216 DOI: 10.1186/s12888-022-03956-6

Alageel AA, Alyahya RA, Bahatheq YA, Alzunaydi NA, Alghamdi RA, Alrahili NM, et al. Smartphone addiction and associated factors among postgraduate students in an Arabic sample: A cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2021; 21(1): 302. PMID: 34112121 DOI: 10.1186/s12888-021-03285-0

Kumar VA, Chandrasekaran V, Brahadeeswari H. Prevalence of smartphone addiction and its effects on sleep quality: A cross-sectional study among medical students. Ind Psychiatry J. 2019; 28(1): 82-5. PMID: 31879452 DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_56_19

Alsalameh AM, Harisi MJ, Alduayji MA, Almutham AA, Mahmood FM. Evaluating the relationship between smartphone addiction/overuse and musculoskeletal pain among medical students at Qassim university. J Family Med Prim Care. 2019; 8(9): 2953-9. PMID: 31681674 DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_665_19

Rathakrishnan B, Bikar Singh SS, Kamaluddin MR, Yahaya A, Mohd Nasir MA, Ibrahim F, et al. Smartphone addiction and sleep quality on academic performance of university students: An exploratory research. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021; 18(16): 8291. PMID: 34444042 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18168291

Norman CD, Skinner HA. eHealth literacy: Essential skills for consumer health in a networked world. J Med Internet Res. 2006; 8(2): e9. PMID: 16867972 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.8.2.e9

Dashti S, Peyman N, Tajfard M, Esmaeeli H. E-health literacy of medical and health sciences university students in Mashhad, Iran in 2016: A pilot study. Electron Physician. 2017; 9(3): 3966-73. PMID: 28461871 DOI: 10.19082/3966

Tubaishat A, Habiballah L. eHealth literacy among undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Today. 2016; 42: 47-52. PMID: 27237352 DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.04.003

Adam A. Sample size determination in survey research. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports. 2020; 26: 90-7.

Lin Y-H, Chang L-R, Lee Y-H, Tseng H-W, Kuo TB, Chen S-H. Development and validation of the Smartphone Addiction Inventory (SPAI). PLoS One. 2014; 9(6): e98312. PMID: 24896252 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098312

Barzegari S, Arpaci I, Ranjbar AZ, Afrooz E, Ghazisaeedi M. Persian version of the smartphone addiction inventory (SPAI-PV): Psychometric evidence of validity and reliability. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 2021; 21: 1378-89.

Norman CD, Skinner HA. eHEALS: The eHealth literacy scale. J Med Internet Res. 2006; 8(4): e27. PMID: 17213046 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.8.4.e27

Bazm S, Mirzaei M, Fallahzadeh H, Bazm R. Validity and reliability of Iranian version of eHealth literacy scale. Journal of Community Health Research. 2016; 5(2): 121-30.

Liu H, Zhou Z, Zhu E, Huang L, Zhang M. Smartphone addiction and its associated factors among freshmen medical students in China: A cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2022; 22(1): 308. PMID: 35501728 DOI: 10.1186/s12888-022-03957-5

Mahsud M, Khalaf AJM, Mahsud Z, Afzal A, Afzal F. Addiction to smartphones leading to distraction in the classrooms: Effect of different cultures. Journal of Statistics and Management Systems. 2021; 24(4): 741-54.

Salehi L, Keikavoosi-Arani L. Investigation e-health literacy and correlates factors among Alborz medical sciences students: A cross sectional study. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2020; 33(6): 409-14. PMID: 32549183 DOI: 10.1515/ijamh-2019-0158

Mahdizadeh J, Mehdi K, Yasemi H, Lavvaf S, Pahlevanynejad S. Determinant factors impact of e-health literacy on the quality of life of students during the COVID-19. Journal of Health Literacy. 2023; 7: 93-105.

Alotaibi MS, Fox M, Coman R, Ratan ZA, Hosseinzadeh H. Smartphone addiction prevalence and its association on academic performance, physical health, and mental well-being among university students in Umm Al-Qura University (UQU), Saudi Arabia. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022; 19(6): 3710. PMID: 35329397 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19063710

Augner C, Hacker GW. Associations between problematic mobile phone use and psychological parameters in young adults. Int J Public Health. 2012; 57(2): 437-41. PMID: 21290162 DOI: 10.1007/s00038-011-0234-z

Shekofteh M, Ghaedi R, Valizadeh-haghi S, Baghestani A. E-health literacy among healthcare students: The effect of demographic variables. Journal of Health Literacy. 2022; 7(2): 37-45.

Aljomaa SS, Al-Qudah MF, Albursan IS, Bakhiet SF, Abduljabbar AS. Smartphone addiction among university students in the light of some variables. Computers in Human Behavior. 2016; 61: 155-64.

Achangwa C, Ryu HS, Lee JK, Jang JD. Adverse effects of smartphone addiction among university students in South Korea: A systematic review. Healthcare (Basel). 2022; 11(1): 14. PMID: 36611474 DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11010014



  • There are currently no refbacks.