Does smartphone connectivity impact on undergraduate dental students' environmental stress?
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INTRODUCTION: Several studies have suggested that smartphone addiction has negative effects on mental health and academic performance and may contribute to the development of stress. AIM: To determine the prevalence of smartphone addiction and its impact on stress levels of students registered for the degree BChD in 2017 at the University of the Western Cape. OBJECTIVES: To establish the impact of smartphone addiction and associated stress levels on student performance. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study with a convenience sample of dental students, based on a self-administered closed-ended questionnaires:" Dental Environment Stress and Smartphone Addiction Scale". The responses were statistically analysed. RESULTS: Ethical clearance was obtained for the study. The Mann-Whitney test output indicates no difference in attachment between smartphone and non-smartphone owners (p=0.615). Students agreed that mobile devices could be used for academic purposes but not that this usage be made compulsory. CONCLUSION: More stress is experienced in certain domains and students displayed some degree of attachment, not addiction, to their smartphones. Serious impacts may be experienced by non-smartphone owners.