An assessment of pharmacy students' psychological attachment to smartphones at two colleges of pharmacy

Jeff Cain, Daniel R. Malcom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the prevalence of nomophobia, the discomfort or anxiety experienced from being without a cellphone, among student pharmacists. Methods. A validated nomophobia questionnaire (NMP-Q) was administered to two groups of student pharmacists at two different Doctor of Pharmacy programs (N=192). Demographic and other information was collected including identified gender, year of birth, type of smartphone, and use of messaging services. Scores on the NMP-Q were used to classify respondents as absent of nomophobia (<20), having mild nomophobia (21-59), having moderate nomophobia (60-99), or having severe nomophobia (>100 out of a maximum score of 140). Results. Of 224 eligible students, 192 (85.7%) responded to the survey. Mean nomophobia scores were statistically similar between programs. Most students’ scores were within the moderate nomophobia range (56.8%), while 24.5% were in the mild range and 18.2% were in the severe range. Score classifications were similar between schools. Overall, the data showed good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha of .95 for the combined group. Conclusion. Nomophobia is a relatively new psychological phenomenon, and little is known about its potential implications. The student pharmacists in our study all had NMP-Q scores consistent with some degree of nomophobia. Educators must continue to study smartphone use and help student pharmacists maximize the benefits of smartphones while avoiding the potential negative psychological consequences associated with their use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7136
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


  • Anxiety
  • Internet dependence
  • Mental health
  • Nomophobia
  • Smartphones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacy


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