Authors: Jayanti P Acharya, Indranil Acharya, Divya Waghrey
Int J Med Res Health Sci. 2013;2(3):388- 394 | | DOI:10.5958/j.2319-5886.2.3.068
Background: Cell phones have come to stay. Their use without any knowledge of their harmful effects like cancers and other health effects is not ‘quite’ safe. Studies on cancers due to electromagnetic radiations from cell phones are available but there is a need to research on the detrimental physical and psychological effects esp. on rampant users like college-goers. This study focused on certain psychological or mental health effects of cell phone usage amongst students pursuing professional courses in colleges in a big city. Materials and methods: Students of both sexes in the age group 17-23 yrs from urban and rural backgrounds were selected at random and administered a pre- tested questionnaire which included aspects related to few common adverse psychological health signs and symptoms attributed to cell phone over-usage. Results: Headache was found to be the commonest symptom (51.47%) followed by irritability/anger (50.79%). Other common mental symptoms included lack of concentration and academic performance, insomnia, anxiety etc. Suggestions: This study confirms that the younger generation, who are the most frequent cell phone users, needs to be aware about the adverse health effects of cell phone usage esp. the mental aspects and take preventive measures to minimize and control the same. Less dependence on the device, a curtailing time period spent on talking, communicating more by texting, etc. are some of the practical measures suggested.
Key words: Cell phones, adverse psychological health effects