Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Association between mobile phone use and inattention in 7102 Chinese adolescents: a population-based cross-sectional study. epidem.

Published in: BMC Public Health 2014; 14: 1022-1-1022-7

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in China to investigate the association between mobile phone use and inattention in adolescents.

Further details

Inattention was assessed by using the most stable psychometric properties of the Attention Deficit component of Attention deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The choice of nine inattention descriptions was 'yes' or 'no'. Inattention was defined when the teacher chose six or more 'yes' responses to the descriptions.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (odds ratio (OR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 mobile phone ownership: no
Group 2 mobile phone ownership: yes
Reference group 3 mobile phone use: 0 - 2 years
Group 4 mobile phone use: 3 - 4 years
Group 5 mobile phone use: > 4 years
Reference group 6 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on calls: 0 - 1 min/day
Group 7 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on calls: 1 - 6 min/day
Group 8 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on calls: > 6 min/day
Reference group 9 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on calls: 0 - 1 min/day
Group 10 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on calls: 1 - 6 min/day
Group 11 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on calls: > 6 min/day
Reference group 12 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on calls: 0 - 1 min/day
Group 13 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on calls: 1 - 6 min/day
Group 14 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on calls: > 6 min/day
Reference group 15 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on entertainment: 0 - 20 min/day
Group 16 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on entertainment: 21 - 60 min/day
Group 17 mobile phone use for 0 - 2 years, time spent on entertainment: > 60 min/day
Reference group 18 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on entertainment: 0 - 20 min/day
Group 19 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on entertainment: 21 - 60 min/day
Group 20 mobile phone use for 3 - 4 years, time spent on entertainment: > 60 min/day
Reference group 21 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on entertainment: 0 - 20 min/day
Group 22 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on entertainment: 21 - 60 min/day
Group 23 mobile phone use for > 4 years, time spent on entertainment: > 60 min/day
Reference group 24 habit of answering the phone: close to ear
Group 25 habit of answering the phone: hands-free
Group 26 habit of answering the phone: headphone use
Reference group 27 position of mobile phone during the day: do not carry
Group 28 position of mobile phone during the day: hang in front of chest
Group 29 position of mobile phone during the day: in coat pockets
Group 30 position of mobile phone during the day: in trouser pockets
Group 31 position of mobile phone during the day: in bags
Reference group 32 mode of mobile phone at night: power on and beside the head
Group 33 mode of mobile phone at night: power on and keep away from the head
Group 34 mode of mobile phone at night: power off

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 7,720
Participants 7,426
Participation rate 96 %
Evaluable 7,102
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Overall, 5668 (79.8%) participants owned mobile phones at the time of the survey and had been using a mobile phone for a mean of 3.50 ± 2.48 years. Participants spent 57.36± 71.96 minutes on entertainment and 8.64 ± 15.48 minutes on making calls daily.
The overall prevalence of inattention was 69.8% out of the 7102 valid questionnaires.
Inattention was significantly associated with mobile ownership (OR 2.92, CI 2.51-3.39) and time spent on entertainment daily (more than 60 min: OR 1.87, CI 1.28-2.73). Compared to students, who did not carry their mobile phones, a significant reduced risk for inattention was observed among students who hung their mobile phones in front of the chest (OR 0.44, CI 0.19-0.99) and a significant increased risk was found for students who put their mobile phones in trouser pockets (OR 1.34, CI 1.10-1.62). Furthermore, participants who powered off their mobile phones at night showed significantly less inattention than those students who left their mobile phones on at night (OR 0.75, CI 0.63-0.90).
The authors conclude that mobile phone ownership, the time spent on entertainment on the mobile phone, the position of the during the day and the mode of the MP at night were all significantly associated with inattention in Chinese adolescents. Decreasing mobile phone use for entertainment to less than 60 minutes per day and turning off during sleep may help adolescents to stay focused and centered.

Study funded by

Related articles