Health Implications of Smartphone Addiction among Students of University of Lusaka, Zambia

Sampa Namwawa, Brian Chanda Chiluba


Background: With smartphones growing to be an integral part of model life, an overuse of smartphone has become epidemic around the world. It negatively affects people’s life with profound implications on mental, physical, and social health and well-being. It is important to bring make the public’s aware of this this growing public health problem. This study sought to explore whether smartphone addiction is present among students at the University of Lusaka.

Subjects and Method: This study was a mixed methods utilizing a sequential explanatory. The quantitative part established the levels of smartphone addiction using a smartphone addiction scale. Qualitatively a case study was employed to explore the health implications of those addicted. A total sample of 111 students was enrolled from the University of Lusaka. The data was collected using a Smartphone Addiction Scale- Short Version tool and a Depression Anxiety Stress Questionnaire. Data was analyzed using STATA version 14. Multiple linear regression was done to evaluate various interaction of depression, anxiety and or stress, and smartphone addiction. Qualitative data was analyzed using a thematic analysis.

Results: 60.6% of the respondents were found to be addicted to their smartphones, 37.9% and 22.7% of them being moderately and severely addicted respectively. There was a moderate negative correlation between age and smartphone addiction (r = -0.309, p = 0.016). Smartphone addiction was found to be a strong predictor of depression (r = 0.47, p = 0.001), Anxiety (r = 0.399, p = 0.001), and Stress (r =0.504, p <0 .001).

Conclusion: An initiative of stress, anxiety and depression management programs should be introduced at universities in addition to the implementation of recreational and outreach health promotion programs that educate the public on the negative impacts of smartphone addiction on their health. egative impacts of smartphone addiction on their health.

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Smartphone Addiction; Health Implication; Smartphone Addiction scale; Depression; Anxiety; Stress Scale Questionnaire

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