Development of a Brief Instrument to Measure Smartphone Addiction Among Nursing Students

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Interruptions and distractions due to smartphone use in healthcare settings pose potential risks to patient safety. Therefore, it is important to assess smartphone use at work, to encourage nursing students to review their relevant behaviors, and to recognize these potential risks. This study’s aim was to develop a scale to measure smartphone addiction and test its validity and reliability. We investigated nursing students’ experiences of distractions caused by smartphones in the clinical setting and their opinions about smartphone use policies. Smartphone addiction and the need for a scale to measure it were identified through a literature review and in-depth interviews with nursing students. This scale showed reliability and validity with exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In testing the discriminant and convergent validity of the selected (18) items with four factors, the smartphone addiction model explained approximately 91% (goodness-of-fit index = 0.909) of the variance in the data. Pearson correlation coefficients among addiction level, distractions in the clinical setting, and attitude toward policies on smartphone use were calculated. Addiction level and attitude toward policies of smartphone use were negatively correlated. This study suggests that healthcare organizations in Korea should create practical guidelines and policies for the appropriate use of smartphones in clinical practice.

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