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COMMENTS ON PUBLISHED ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 203-204  

Comments on “nomophobia: A mixed-methods study on prevalence, associated factors, and perception among college students in Puducherry, India”


Department of Psychiatry, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission09-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance15-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication9-Mar-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arghya Pal
Department of Psychiatry, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_15_20

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How to cite this article:
Pal A, Aulakh AP. Comments on “nomophobia: A mixed-methods study on prevalence, associated factors, and perception among college students in Puducherry, India”. Indian J Psychol Med 2020;42:203-4

How to cite this URL:
Pal A, Aulakh AP. Comments on “nomophobia: A mixed-methods study on prevalence, associated factors, and perception among college students in Puducherry, India”. Indian J Psychol Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Mar 28];42:203-4. Available from: http://www.ijpm.info/text.asp?2020/42/2/203/278262



Dear Sir,

We have read the wonderful study on nomophobia, conducted from Puducherry, India, published in your journal, with great interest.[1] We congratulate the authors on the successful completion of a study on a topic that is pertinent in the current times and also is going to dictate how we are going to conceptualize evolving disorders in psychiatry.

However, we wish to raise a few points which we feel are worth pondering. The authors in the study have used the Nomophobia Questionnaire.[2] It is a 20-item Likert scale with scores ranging from 20 to 140. As has been mentioned by the authors, “The scores below 20 are considered as the absence of nomophobia, 21 to 60 as mild, 61 to 100 as moderate, and 101 to 140 as severe nomophobia.”. Evidently, a score below 20 on this scale is impossible. So practically what this means is that only if someone scores 20 (i.e., someone rates every item of the scale as “strongly disagree”), then only he/she will be considered as not having nomophobia. Any score 21 onwards means the subject has at least mild nomophobia. Even when we look into the results of the current study, only 9 out of 774 (i.e., 1.16%) have no nomophobia. This seems absurd and raises the obvious question of whether we are labeling a normal behavior. We also feel that though the Nomophobia Questionnaire is validated, the utility of this scale in clinical and research scenario is questionable.

Another point we want to make is that the authors have left out subjects who were not using smartphones. We feel that this exclusion has led to a bias in this study. Most definitions, including the one that has been quoted in the manuscript, define nomophobia as “discomfort, anxiety, nervousness, or anguish caused by being out of contact with a mobile phone.” Thus, the exclusion of non-smart-phone users from the study has probably inflated the prevalence of nomophobia in this study.

Finally, while going through the results of the regression analysis, we found that the purpose of maximum usage included “Texting” and “Social Networking.” We feel that these two reasons are very overlapping, and the division of these two purposes could be very difficult. We feel that this is important because this could have led to the effect of collinearity.

To conclude, we would like to congratulate the authors again on the publication of this study. However, there were certain methodological and conceptual aspects in this study that should be kept in mind while interpreting the results of the study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Jilisha G, Venkatachalam J, Menon V, Olickal J. Nomophobia: A mixed-methods study on prevalence, associated factors, and perception among college students in Puducherry, India. Indian J Psychol Med 2019;41:541-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
2.
Yildirim C, Correia AP. Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire. Comput Human Behav 2015;49:130-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
    




 

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